Why British homes are at risk from ‘Trojan Horse’ smart devices

Hikvision has called concerns about its technology “unsubstantiated” and a “knee jerk reaction”.

There are concerns that China’s dominance of technology runs deeper than just consumer gadgets.

Ministers previously ordered telecoms companies to strip technology made by China’s Huawei from mobile and broadband networks by 2027, amid concerns it represented a national security risk, something the company always denied.

Three Chinese companies, Quectel, Fibocom and China Mobile, make up roughly half of global shipments of IoT cellular modules, according to data from Counterpoint Research. While these historically only processed tiny packets of data over 2G networks, increasingly they are picking up and transmitting more information over 4G and 5G mobile networks.

The proliferation of these IoT modules means that bugs or backdoors, whether left in by design or by accident, are a risk. Concerns have only mounted after a concealed tracking device was found in a government car, believed to have been planted in a part imported from China, the i reported.

Under Chinese law, the CCP can compel companies to aid intelligence gathering operations and provide customer data.

Parton has gone as far as to call for a ban on the sale and installation of new Chinese IOT kits that connect to cellular networks.  

Parton, the former diplomat, who now works for the consultancy OODA, writes in a report sent to government officials: “[Chinese Communist Party] policy documents show the strategic importance of IOT technology to the party.

“In line with CCP industrial policy to promote global champions in new industries, IOT companies have benefited from the creation of a domestic market which excludes international competition.”

For now, the main risk presented by IOT technology appears to be weak security practices and cheap, hackable gadgets. But as China’s dominance continues to grow, a more strategic threat could be emerging.

A government spokesman said: “We are legislating to protect consumers’ connected devices, such as smartphones, TVs, speakers and routers, through new laws to strengthen their privacy and security.”

“It will ban sales in the UK of smart…