A report from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has revealed that software systems used by China to run its weapons, utilities and chemical plants systems suffer from an inherent bug, leaving them vulnerable to hacker's cyber attacks.
The report, which was first disclosed to Reuters, saw the department warn China over the vulnerabilities in its software. The software was designed by Beijing-based Sunway Force Control Technology Co.
According to the department, hackers could exploit the bug to inflict an attack that could cause lasting damage on critical parts of the country's infrastructure.
Sunway's products, while most widely used in China, are also used by certain Western companies.
Sunway's products, widely used in China, are also deployed to a lesser extent in other countries including the United States, DHS's Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team said in its advisory.
Dillon Beresford, a researcher for NSS Labs -- the private security firm that discovered the bugs -- commented to Reuters, "These are vulnerabilities that hackers could leverage to cause destruction".
The department's advice comes in the wake of numerous cyber attacks against several big-name companies and government departments and agencies.
In this month alone there have been reports of successful attacks on Citibank, The International Monetary Fund, the U.S. Senate and CIA.
Since its advice, Sunway has reportedly developed software patches to plug the security holes. Experts have since revealed that even with these fixes, it will take the software's users weeks, maybe months to install the new security fixes.
The news comes a month after public attention turned to China after the search giant Google reported a hacking attempt on its Gmail email service. China was widely expected of involvement in the attack after Google traced the origin of the hackers to one of the country's provinces.
There is as yet no firm date when the security fixes will be fully functional.