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The Military China Politics

US Nuclear Lab Removes Chinese Tech 125

Rambo Tribble writes "Reuters reports that Los Almos National Laboratory has removed switches produced by Chinese firm H3C, which once had ties to Huawei. This appears to be a step taken to placate a nervous Congress, rather in response to any detected security issues. From the article: 'Switches are used to manage data traffic on computer networks. The exact number of Chinese-made switches installed at Los Alamos, how or when they were acquired, and whether they were placed in sensitive systems or pose any security risks, remains unclear. The laboratory - where the first atomic bomb was designed - is responsible for maintaining America's arsenal of nuclear weapons. A spokesman for the Los Alamos lab referred inquiries to the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration, or NNSA, which declined to comment.'"
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US Nuclear Lab Removes Chinese Tech

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  • by jsepeta ( 412566 ) on Monday January 07, 2013 @01:44PM (#42506847) Homepage
    We have the know-how, and a patriotic, knowledgeable, and capable workforce. If congress instituted taxes on foreign made goods to help fund jobs in America, we'd be safer.
  • by jkrise ( 535370 ) on Monday January 07, 2013 @02:03PM (#42507109) Journal

    A nuclear lab is, as I would imagine, a place where radioactive materials are researched in order to produce destructive levels of energy. Information generated, processed and researched in this lab should be ideally completely cut off from the rest of the World. It makes zero sense to connect this network of computing devices to the outside world and the internet, so that researchers can post to Facebook or play networked Solitaire. Security should be achieved by completely isolating this network from the rest of the World.

    I do not know of any 'networking' devices from any country or vendor that does not have any vulnerabilities, or is completely immune to hacking. To imagine that non-Chinese networking devices are more 'secure' is to totally miss the point.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07, 2013 @02:20PM (#42507339)

    Good thought, but check out the GarrettCom backdoor that was discovered by a curious researcher in 2012:

    Looks like in some cases the 'american company' is worse! And why did it take this researcher named in the advisory to dicsover it? Why didn't any of the major corporations or government agencies who rely on this equipment discover it?

  • by kelemvor4 ( 1980226 ) on Monday January 07, 2013 @02:48PM (#42507717)
    Cisco switches are manufactured in China since 2011 per this press release: []
  • by Jawnn ( 445279 ) on Monday January 07, 2013 @03:05PM (#42507941)

    The option would be to have a US company build them for 10X the cost plus the usual 1000% kickback. /s

    [citation needed]

    The reality, of course, is nowhere near the numbers you suggest, but hey, who's counting. This is /. and hyperbole is the order of the day. Rational discussions? Supported by actual facts? Pffffff....

  • by jittles ( 1613415 ) on Monday January 07, 2013 @03:17PM (#42508133)

    Seriously, You know this? How?

    As recently as 2007 this was clearly not the case.

    Because I've worked in a facility like this before. Not Los Alamos, but with classified data.

    It was only after several years on the job that she was caught with bomb designs in her trailer and fired. But the investigation reveals that Quintana had taken her cell phone into a vault filled with secret documents where she worked — another major security violation. She also had access to a high-speed classified printer, even though such access was "not required by her job," and used the device to run off hundreds of copies of classified documents that she also brought home.

    See? She violated security protocol by bringing her phone into the vault. It says so right there in your own quote. So as I said there should be 0 iPhones around there. Whether people actually follow the rules is up to the site security officer, but the rules clearly state no cell phones.

    See:,8599,1612912,00.html []

  • Open Source Hardware (Score:4, Informative)

    by xanojsp ( 1994442 ) on Monday January 07, 2013 @03:31PM (#42508359)
    For critical applications, one can use a White Rabbit switch []. White Rabbit is a technology developed at CERN and other institutes and companies. The switch PCB is Open Source (licensed under the CERN Open Hardware Licence []) and all the switching happens inside an FPGA for which all VHDL sources are available under LGPL. There is already one company [] commercializing it, but the sources are all available for any other company to build it, test it, commercialize it and provide support. The terms of the licence give no privilege to any single vendor. No royalties, no patents. Plus the HDL can be customized for particular applications (low latency, redundancy...).

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.