While US federal agencies and the military have responded robustly to China cyber threats, the 50 states are lagging behind in protection, a consultancy has warned.
ChinaTechThreat.com (CTT) said it had recommended four specific policy ideas for US state governments to counter China cyber threats.
CTT said it had been been closely tracking what it called a “state-federal tech threat disconnect” in the US.
The consultancy urged state authorities to restrict Chinese government-owned companies from state purchase and contracts and restrict university partnerships that strengthen the Chinese military.
It also urged states to upgrade the cybersecurity workforce at the state level; and ensure cooperation between the US Congress and state governments and legislatures to ensure federal agencies enforce export control laws.
Six States Hacked
The memo CTT sent cited a March 2022 report claiming at least six state governments have been hacked by operatives on behalf of the Chinese government in the past year.
A CTT report that found 40 states continue to use Chinese tech equipment, mostly made by Lenovo and Lexmark, despite Pentagon warnings against using such equipment that is already restricted by numerous federal agencies due to the security threats they pose.
Some states, CTT said, have responded to the potential threats. As an example, CTT cited a bill that Georgia Governor Brian Kemp recently signed into law.
That prohibits Chinese government owned or operated companies from providing tech products to state governments, universities and local school districts.
In an interview, the bill’s sponsor, Martin Momtahan said: “We have a $31 billion budget, we’re buying computers, we’re buying technology, but there is no state-side regulation on the purchasing of these kinds of devices.”
- George Russell