Report: U.K. determines there are ways to limit risks from using Huawei 5G equipment in networks

Security / Tech
Huawei-5G

The U.S. is encouraging other nations to accept their word that the company could potentially spy on behalf of the Chinese government.

Huawei has suffered blow after blow lately after the arrest of its CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada and the banning of their equipment in 5G networks of at least three companies. Members of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance are slowly following the U.S. lead in banning Huawei. So far Australia and New Zealand have also barred the company from providing 5G equipment. The United Kingdom and Canada, on the other hand, are still evaluating any potential security risks.

An unpublished report coming out of the U.K. National Cyber Security Centre is likely giving Huawei hope as they have “determined that there are ways to limit the risks from using Huawei in future 5G ultra-fast networks.” While Canada is still evaluating potential security risks from using Huawei equipment, having the U.K. seemingly lean towards allowing Huawei equipment means they won’t be standing alone against the U.S. and its partners if they also choose to allow it.

“Other nations can make the argument that if the British are confident of mitigation against national security threats then they can also reassure their publics and the US administration that they are acting in a prudent manner in continuing to allow their telecommunications service providers to use Chinese components as long as they take the kinds of precautions recommended by the British.”

Unamed source via Financial Times

While there has been no evidence presented to the public that Huawei poses a security risk to 5G networks, the U.S. is encouraging other nations to accept their word that the company could potentially spy on behalf of the Chinese government.

Robert Hannigan, former head of GCHQ, the UK signals intelligence agency, recently wrote in the FT that NCSC had “never found evidence of malicious Chinese state cyber activity through Huawei” and that any “assertions that any Chinese technology in any part of a 5G network represents an unacceptable risk are nonsense”.

Financial Times

Of course, this is a claim that Huawei chairman Liang Hua also vehemently denies.

Mr. Liang said Huawei would “never do anything to harm any country, any organization or any individual.”

It’s not fair, he said, to target a single company. “We cannot simply say that one specific 5G product vendor is secure while the other is insecure,” he said on the company’s sprawling campus, where researchers emphasized Huawei’s openness and technological sophistication.

Huawei chairman Liang Hua via the Globe & Mail

In the U.K., Vodafone, EE, and Three have been working with Huawei on developing their 5G networks. In Canada, two of the country’s big three, Telus and Bell, are also working with, and are currently testing, 5G infrastructure options with Huawei.

While details of the U.K. National Cyber Security Centre report has leaked and seem to favour allowing Huawei technology to be used, the final report from the U.K. government isn’t expected until March or April. Still, the report will carry some decent weight during the review with the security agency saying that it has “a unique oversight and understanding of Huawei engineering and cyber security.”

What do you think about the unpublished U.K. report that indicates that they can safely use and mitigate risks from using Huawei 5G networks? Do you think Huawei equipment should be banned in 5G networks? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook, or MeWe.

 Source: Financial Times Source: Globe & Mail

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