Package of disguised spyware sent from China to Russia

A consignment of everyday electrical goods from China that double as spying devices has been discovered in St. Petersburg. Special chips were built in to the irons and kettles, which are able to connect to networks automatically and distribute viruses and spam. The equipment is able to independently connect via Wi-Fi to any unprotected computer within a radius of 655 feet.

Package of disguised spyware sent from China to Russia

Could this iron be a spy? Source: Anton Tushin / RIA Novosti

A consignment of everyday electrical goods from China that double as spying devices has been discovered in St. Petersburg. Special chips were built in to the irons and kettles, which are able to connect to networks automatically and distribute viruses and spam. The equipment is able to independently connect via Wi-Fi to any unprotected computer within a radius of 655 feet.

Russian specialists were confused by the weight of the packaged goods, prior to the equipment leaving China: The weight differed by a few grams from the weight given on the documents. The shipment was stopped at the border and experts examined the electronics. There it was discovered that the built-in chips were designed to distribute spam and computer viruses. 

Gleb Pavlov, the technical director of the customs brokerage company said: “You would not even notice that it is distributing anything. None of the system administrators would even notice an attack, because it is not coming in from outside the business — not via the Internet, but internally.”

However, around 30 irons, kettles, telephones and video cameras from the batch that was tested still made it through to be distributed around chain stores in St. Petersburg. It is still not clear whether this multipurpose technology has also found its way into other regions in Russia.

First published in Russian in Vesti.ru.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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