In the US, efforts are being made to counter Chinese crane surveillance, while in Israel there is apathy

Israel’s Concerns Over Chinese-Built Port Cranes and Cybersecurity: A Closer Look at Biden’s Decision

US President Joe Biden recently caused a stir in the global port industry with his decision to invest NIS 20 billion in local crane production and expand American authority to investigate cybersecurity issues in port infrastructures. Reports indicated that the US discovered modems used for communication and data collection on cranes made by a leading Chinese manufacturer. However, despite this discovery, experts and decision makers in Israel have remained largely unconcerned.

The Chinese company ZPMC, based in Shanghai, dominates over 70% of the world market for port cranes. These cranes are used for loading and unloading containers at ports around the world. Despite denying any wrongdoing, an investigation found unauthorized communication devices on ZPMC cranes in the US, raising concerns about potential espionage and disruptions in supply chains.

In response to these revelations, President Biden has tasked the US Coast Guard with addressing cybersecurity in ports and announced a $20 billion investment in American-made infrastructure for sea ports. While this may help mitigate some of the risks associated with Chinese-built cranes, it still leaves a significant challenge due to their lower cost and widespread use.

In Israel, concerns have been raised about the security implications of Chinese-built cranes in ports. While some ports have taken measures to mitigate potential risks, including replacing electronic systems and installing security sensors, skepticism remains about Chinese involvement in critical infrastructure. Despite reassurances from experts, the issue of cybersecurity in ports remains a topic of debate and scrutiny.

Overall, while President Biden’s efforts to address cybersecurity in ports may be helpful, it is clear that there is still much work to be done to ensure that critical infrastructure is secure from foreign interference.

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