White House partners with Amazon, Google, Best Buy to secure devices from cyberattacks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House on Tuesday along with companies such as Amazon.com Inc, Alphabet’s Google and Best Buy will announce an initiative that allows Americans to identify devices that are less vulnerable to cyberattacks.

A new certification and labeling program would raise the bar for cybersecurity across smart devices such as refrigerators, microwaves, televisions, climate control systems and fitness trackers, the White House said in a statement.

Retailers and manufacturers will apply a “U.S. Cyber Trust Mark” logo to their devices and the program will be up and running in 2024.

The initiative is designed to make sure “our networks and the use of them is more secure, because it is so important for economic and national security,” said a senior administration official, who did not wish to be named.

The Federal Communications Commission will seek public comment before rolling out the labeling program and register a national trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the White House said.

Other retailers and manufacturers participating in the program include LG Electronics U.S.A., Logitech, Cisco Systems and Samsung.

In March, the White House launched its national cyber strategy that called on software makers and companies to take far greater responsibility to ensure that their systems cannot be hacked.

It also accelerated efforts by agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Defense Department to disrupt activities of hackers and ransomware groups around the world.

Last week, Microsoft and U.S. official said Chinese state-linked hackers secretly accessed email accounts at around 25 organizations, including at least two U.S. government agencies, since May.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)