A US intelligence office Friday warned Americans traveling to the Beijing Olympics or elsewhere to expect cyber spies to surreptitiously compromise their laptops, cellphones, and other electronic devices.
The unusual advisory issued by the National Counterintelligence Executive (NCIX) did not single out China by name, but the head of the office did in a press release and a television interview.
"Somebody with a wireless device in China should expect it to be compromised while he's there," Joel Brenner, head of the NCIX, told CBS television.
Brenner said the Chinese public security services can activate a person's cellphone or Blackberry when he or she thinks it is off, and use it as a microphone.
His suggestion is to remove the battery. Or better yet leave it at home.
"If you can do without the device, don't take it," his office's advisory said.
A press release quotes Brenner as saying the security advice "applies to travel to virtually any overseas destination, from a Mediterranean beach to this month's Olympic Games."
The advisory said travelers should have no expectation of privacy in Internet cafes, hotels, offices or public places, adding that phone networks and hotel business centers are regularly monitored in many countries.
All information sent electronically -- by fax, personal digital assistant, computer, or telephone -- can be intercepted, the advisory said.
"Wireless devices are especially vulnerable," it said.
Security services and criminals can then insert malicious software wirelessly, it warned.
"When you connect to your home server, the 'malware" can migrate to your business, agency, or home system, can inventory your system, and send information back to the security service or potential malicious actor," it said.
Malware can also be transferred through USB sticks and computer disks.
"Corporate and government officials are most at risk, but don't assume you're too insignificant to be targeted," the advisory said.
LOL - this cracks me up especially after the recent US border laptop seizures laws that were passed last month. Yes China government having your data very bad..... US government stealing your data "fighting teeeerrorism".