2018-10-04: technologists and U.S. trade hawks have a common but perhaps impossible mission: reverse decades of globalization in computing to try to prevent damaging attacks. Computer Networks Are Now Permanently Hackable. The web of parts makers, assemblers, testers and contractors is almost impossible to untangle.
The supply chain attack could have siphoned corporate secrets and government information while leaving few fingerprints. It’s the most insidious kind of digital spying imaginable, and some of the savviest tech minds in the world haven’t yet found a reliable way to sniff out the hardware-infiltration attacks, according to the Bloomberg Businessweek reporting. And worse, I’m not sure what, if anything, could be done to prevent this kind of snooping.
Perhaps the only surefire prevention is for Google, Apple, the U.S. government and others to build every circuit and computer chip by hand and make sure the parts and equipment never leave the sight of people they trust. This seems impossible. It would cost a fortune, of course, and it may not be practically possible at all. Over the decades, companies in China, Taiwan, the U.S., Vietnam and elsewhere in the world have developed specialization at discrete steps in manufacturing or assembly for computing equipment. It would takes years and support from the U.S. government to replicate that specialization entirely in the U.S. or other countries that American companies and the government trust.