US says it has evidence that Huawei can spy on mobile networks

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

"We have evidence that Huawei has the capability secretly to access sensitive and personal information in systems it maintains and sells around the world," US National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien told the Wall Street Journal.

Back in May last year, President Trump, citing a threat to national security, added Huawei to an entity list that effectively banned US companies from doing business with the firm. But the spying claims have gone back years, with officials claiming they’ve been aware of Huawei’s backdoor access "since observing it in 2009 in early 4G equipment."

The US has said it doesn’t need to show proof that Huawei can access the networks, and it still isn’t revealing the evidence, though it has been shared with other countries. “The US kept the intelligence highly classified until late last year, when American officials provided details to allies including the UK and Germany, according to officials from the three countries,” writes the Journal.

It’s noted that manufacturers who sell telecoms equipment to carriers must include backdoors for authorities to access the network for lawful purposes, but they "are also required to build equipment in such a way that the manufacturer can't get access without the consent of the network operator," the Journal added. Officials say Huawei’s equipment allows the company to access these networks without the carrier’s knowledge.

"Huawei does not disclose this covert access to its local customers, or the host nation national-security agencies,” an official said.

Germany and the UK were both warned by the US that it would withhold intel from the countries if they used Huawei’s equipment in their 5G networks. But last month, the UK government announced it would allow the firm to build parts of Britain’s 5G infrastructure, albeit with some restrictions.

Huawei has, of course, denied the new allegations. "No Huawei employee is allowed to access the network without an explicit approval from the network operator," a company official said.

Center image credit: TPROduction via Shutterstock

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Burty117

TechSpot Chancellor
It'll be either they've found a flaw that isn't being exploited by the Chinese because they don't know about it themselves and the US gov would rather use it OR they found nothing and are just drumming up some publicity.

I think it's worth mentioning here since the article mentions the UK is allowing Huawei to build out the UK 5G infrastructure.

The current BT VDSL network is run using Huawei equipment, before the BT HomeHub had the modem built-in, a Huawei modem was supplied and most of the DSLAM's are Huawei and the green boxes at the bottom of our streets are mostly Huawei.

Just saying, we already use a decent amount of Huawei tech in the current infrastructure, very strange we're only now deciding they're spying on us...
 

SirDigby

TS Evangelist
TechSpot Elite
I think it's worth mentioning here since the article mentions the UK is allowing Huawei to build out the UK 5G infrastructure.

The current BT VDSL network is run using Huawei equipment, before the BT HomeHub had the modem built-in, a Huawei modem was supplied and most of the DSLAM's are Huawei and the green boxes at the bottom of our streets are mostly Huawei.
Industry insider or employee of BT?
 

QuantumPhysics

TS Evangelist
Anyone with a smartphone or a smartwatch basically gets to choose the government who'll be spying on them.

Apple/ Android phones = CIA

Hua Wei and anything else made in China = PRC

Facebook and all those other social medias are basically data mining organizations.

Same goes for Tik Tok.

Smuckerberg will get nothing from me but stolen memes and off-color jokes.
 
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S Hone

TS Rookie
It'll be either they've found a flaw that isn't being exploited by the Chinese because they don't know about it themselves and the US gov would rather use it OR they found nothing and are just drumming up some publicity.

I think it's worth mentioning here since the article mentions the UK is allowing Huawei to build out the UK 5G infrastructure.

The current BT VDSL network is run using Huawei equipment, before the BT HomeHub had the modem built-in, a Huawei modem was supplied and most of the DSLAM's are Huawei and the green boxes at the bottom of our streets are mostly Huawei.

Just saying, we already use a decent amount of Huawei tech in the current infrastructure, very strange we're only now deciding they're spying on us...
Non core infrastructure, not "building out their infrastructure".... very different but still risky.
 
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Burty117

TechSpot Chancellor
Non core infrastructure, not "building out their infrastructure".... very different but still risky.
My point still stands, Huawei networking equipment already runs vast amounts of the current infrastructure and no one is kicking up a fuss about its current state. This is all just because the current power in America doesn't like Huawei, it's nothing to do with security and is just being used as an excuse to block business with Huawei.
 

redhat

TS Booster
Anyone with a smartphone or a smartwatch basically gets to choose the government who'll be spying on them.

Apple/ Android phones = CIA

Hua Wei and anything else made in China = PRC

Facebook and all those other social medias are basically data mining organizations.

Same goes for Tik Tok.

Smuckerberg will get nothing from me but stolen memes and off-color jokes.
Excatly, personally I use PC based on that principle, choosing which company/country to steal your data is also sort of freedom as you konw
 
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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Unfortunately the Govt. refuses to understand that unless they can offer the proof to the average citizen, the citizens are quickly loosing faith (if there even is any) in the honesty and integrity of this government. The current administration certainly isn't helping either and at this point the entire intelligence community needs to take a deep breath and start rebuilding itself as well as it's image.
 
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PEnnn

TS Maniac
"Germany and the UK were both warned by the US that it would withhold intel from the countries if they used Huawei’s equipment in their 5G networks. But last month, the UK government announced it would allow the firm to build parts of Britain’s 5G infrastructure, albeit with some restrictions."

So, despite all the evidence that the US / CIA allegedly submitted, neither country believed the US....LOL!!!

I really think, the whole thing is caused because Trump's palms weren't greased by Huwaei or they refused to kiss his orange butt, or they were "mean" to him or all of the above!
 
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toooooot

TS Evangelist
No matter what their reasons for not sharing are, they must share. They will lose credibility going this road.
I mean dont even share all of it. make a short but definitive presentation using Huawei's equipment and that should be something. Otherwise admit the other european and usa tech firms paid to spread this warning.

And I have to remind everyone. Chinese government is a paranoid dictatorship with benefits.
Many aspects of Chinese citizens are straight from 1984.

But the evidence must be presented by security pros in a simple to understand way for most of our citizens.
 
No matter what their reasons for not sharing are, they must share. They will lose credibility going this road.
I mean dont even share all of it. make a short but definitive presentation using Huawei's equipment and that should be something. Otherwise admit the other european and usa tech firms paid to spread this warning.

And I have to remind everyone. Chinese government is a paranoid dictatorship with benefits.
Many aspects of Chinese citizens are straight from 1984.

But the evidence must be presented by security pros in a simple to understand way for most of our citizens.
The thing that irks me is that it almost seems like they want to make the Chinese appear as the good guys. Quite baffling.