In 2015, as part of a routine security check on one of the world's biggest suppliers of computer server motherboards a deeply concerning discovery was made. Nested on the motherboards, testers found a tiny microchip, not much bigger than a grain of rice, that wasn’t part of the boards’ original design. It was a Chinese hack.
This is exactly the kind of Chinese interference and intrusion that Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi has been warning of for almost two years and why he has demanded a royal commission into Chinese influence in Australia be established.
Bloomberg Businessweek reports, news of the discovery sent a shudder through the global intelligence community because these servers are commonly found in many national defence data centres, the CIA’s drone operations, and the onboard networks of many Navy warships.
During the ensuing top-secret probe, which remains open more than three years later, investigators determined that the chips allowed the attackers to create a stealth doorway into any network that included the altered machines.
Investigators found that the chips had been inserted at factories run by manufacturing subcontractors in China by operatives from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
As Clive Hamilton, the author of the chilling book, Silent Invasion, Chinese influence in Australia tweeted this morning, "How many of these motherboards from the motherland are sitting in Australian servers?"
Only last month, Senator Bernardi asked a question of government leader Matthias Cormann in Senate Question Time:
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