Story image

US intelligence agencies accuse Huawei & ZTE of spying - again

15 Feb 2018

Four United States intelligence agencies are warning that Chinese technology giant Huawei may spy on customers who own Huawei smart devices – but they are not sharing any hard evidence to prove it.

At the Senate Intelligence Committee this week, the director of national intelligence, as well as chiefs from the NSA, FBI and CIA warned against organisations including Huawei and ZTE and their efforts to expand into the United States market.

The chiefs warned US citizens not to use any devices made by Huawei or ZTE. It forms another chapter in a debate that has been raging in the United States since at least 2011.

“We’re deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks,” FBI director Chris Wray says.

“That provides the capacity to exert pressure or control over our telecommunications infrastructure. It provides the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information. And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage.”

China is a hotbed for state-sponsored hackings and cyberespionage, according to ThreatMetrix statistics, however there is no evidence to prove that Huawei or ZTE is up to anything untoward in this case.

That has not stopped Arkansas senators Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio from trying to ban US Government use of services and equipment from Huawei and ZTE.

"Huawei is effectively an arm of the Chinese government, and it's more than capable of stealing information from U.S. officials by hacking its devices," Cotton says in a statement.

 "There are plenty of other companies that can meet our technology needs, and we shouldn't make it any easier for China to spy on us,” Cotton continues.

"Chinese telecom companies, like Huawei, are directly linked to the Chinese government and communist party. For national security reasons, we cannot allow a foreign adversary to embed their technology in U.S. government systems or critical infrastructure,” adds Rubio.

Huawei, however, believes the accusations are part of a larger government effort to slow down the company’s expansion into the US.

“Huawei is aware of a range of U.S. government activities seemingly aimed at inhibiting Huawei’s business in the U.S. market,” a Huawei representative reportedly said in a statement.

In other statements, Huawei said it committed to adhering to US laws and even includes US-made chipsets, operating systems and other components in its devices.

“Huawei is trusted by governments and customers in 170 countries worldwide and poses no greater cybersecurity risk than any ICT vendor, sharing as we do common global supply chains and production capabilities.”

This is not the first time US intelligence officials have warned against foreign-made products – last year cybersecurity firm Kaspersky’s products were banned from US government agencies after claims of cyberespionage. 

Salesforce continues to stumble after critical outage
“To all of our Salesforce customers, please be aware that we are experiencing a major issue with our service and apologise for the impact it is having on you."
D-Link hooks up with Alexa and Assistant with new smart camera
The new camera is designed for outdoor use within a wireless smart home network.
Slack users urged to update to prevent security vulnerability
Businesses that use popular messaging platform Slack are being urged to update their Slack for Windows to version 3.4.0 immediately.
Secureworks Magic Quadrant Leader for Security Services
This is the 11th time Secureworks has been positioned as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Managed Security Services, Worldwide.
Google puts Huawei on the Android naughty list
Google has apparently suspended Huawei’s licence to use the full Android platform, according to media reports.
Using data science to improve threat prevention
With a large amount of good quality data and strong algorithms, companies can develop highly effective protective measures.
General staff don’t get tech jargon - expert says time to ditch it
There's a serious gap between IT pros and general staff, and this expert says it's on the people in IT to bridge it.
ZombieLoad: Another batch of flaws affect Intel chips
“This flaw can be weaponised in highly targeted attacks that would normally require system-wide privileges or a complete subversion of the operating system."