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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 have indicated that the US discovered modems used for communication and data collection on cranes made by a leading Chinese manufacturer, ZPMC, based in Shanghai. Despite this, experts and decision makers in Israel have remained largely unconcerned.

Despite their denials of 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. However, the prevalence of ZPMC cranes worldwide poses 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.

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