Has China fooled all of us in America with the old Trojan Horse tactic? The spotlight has been on that silly spy balloon in the skies over America and we can’t seem to get enough of the threat that comes from TikTok.
But maybe the biggest threat from China has to do with cranes at our major ports of entry.
Ship-to-shore cranes at American ports are responsible for loading and unloading tens of millions of shipping containers each year. They are a critical component of the all-important American supply chain.
An estimated 80 percent of ship-to-shore cranes operating at U.S. ports are made by ZPMC, a China-based manufacturer. Now, there is a rising concern among American defense and national security personnel that have compared the cranes to a “Trojan horse,” according to an exclusive report in The Wall Street Journal.
The Journal wrote that the ZPMC cranes made by the Chinese company are “comparably well-made and inexpensive” compared to other cranes produced by other companies.
But “they contain sophisticated sensors that can register and track the provenance and destination of containers, prompting concerns that China could capture information about material being shipped in or out of the country to support U.S. military operations around the world.”
The WSJ included this warning from a former cybersecurity lead at the port of Houston. He said, “it wouldn’t be hard for an attacker to disable one sensor on a crane and prevent
the crane from moving” because the “systems aren’t designed for security, they are designed for operations.”
Others fear that the Chinese cranes could be turned into sabotage devices to cripple American ports.
The Defense Intelligence Agency conducted a classified assessment of this issue in 2021. They found that China could jam port traffic or gather intelligence on military equipment that is being shipped.
There’s one more thing to put in the worry column.