Huawei Has Failed To Resolve Security Flaws, U.K. Government Report Says

Topline

Huawei has failed to adequately resolve security flaws in the equipment used by the U.K. telecom networks, the British government’s cyber-spy agency said in an official report released a few months after the Chinese telecom equipment-maker was barred from the country’s 5G mobile networks over security concerns.

Key Facts

The report, prepared by a U.K. government board led by a member of the cyber-intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) found that there had been no evidence that the Chinese firm has made a significant shift on the matter, the BBC reported.

The report added that while some improvements were made by Huawei, the board could only provide “limited assurance that all risks to UK national security” could be mitigated in the long-term.

The U.K. government had initiated a review of Huawei’s network equipment after the U.S. government issued sanctions against the company in May restricting it from sourcing key components from American suppliers.

Following the sanctions, Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre had determined that Huawei’s equipment could no longer be considered safe as it had to rely on non-US components.

The Trump administration has cracked down on Chinese tech firms over security concerns within the U.S. while also engaging in diplomatic efforts to pressure European governments to bar Huawei devices from being used in their 5G networks.

Big Number

£2 billion. That is how much the ban on Huawei would cost the U.K government, as the move would result in a delay of up to three years in the country’s planned 5G rollout, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden had told the British parliament.

Tangent

Germany is set to impose new restrictions on telecom equipment providers which would effectively prevent Huawei’s devices from being used in the country’s 5G phone networks, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday. An IT security bill that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet plans to pass will introduce a two-stage approval process for equipment makers, including a technical check of individual components along with a political assessment of the manufacturer’s “trustworthiness”. While the bill doesn’t explicitly ban Huawei, the report stated that the added bureaucratic approval process would make it nearly impossible for the Chinese firm to participate in building Germany’s 5G network.

Key Background

In July, the U.K. government announced that it was banning Huawei from its upcoming 5G networks. Under the new law, telecom operators in the country will be forced to stop buying hardware from the Chinese firm by the end of the year and will have until 2027 to strip out existing Huawei devices from their infrastructure. This move was a reversal from a January decision, which allowed limited use of Huawei equipment and angered U.S. President Donald Trump. In June, the Federal Communications Commission had officially designated Huawei as a threat to U.S. communications networks, claiming the company has close ties to the Chinese government and its military services. The agency has barred U.S. telecom companies from using the FCC’s $8.3 billion subsidy fund to purchase any equipment made by the Chinese firm.

Further Reading

U.K. Government Bans Huawei Devices From 5G Networks, Existing Equipment To Be Phased Out By 2027 (Forbes)

Source Article