Home » News » UK’s Huawei oversight board pulls no punches

UK’s Huawei oversight board pulls no punches

UK’s Huawei oversight board pulls no punches

Thursday, 4 April, 2019

Britain’s Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC) has said the Chinese tech giant is a threat to the country’s national security. Going so far as to suggest that some existing mobile network equipment will have to be ripped out and replaced to get rid of the threat.

The HCSEC, known in the industry as ‘The Cell’ allows technicians from Britain’s spy centre GCHQ access to Huawei’s software code to investigate it for potential vulnerabilities and any backdoors. And what they found was worrying.

While the report failed to identify specific backdoors, which the Americans are particularly obsessed about, the HCSEC was perturbed by the development processes and attitudes to security for its mobile network equipment.

The report found there were questions around basic engineering competence and security hygiene exposing vulnerabilities that could be capable of being exploited by cybercriminals and state sponsored attacks.

Following the damning report, Huawei said it understood the concerns and assured the HCSEC that they took the criticisms seriously.

Huawei has promised it will spend $2 billion on software development, which would include security fixes. But HCSEC was not impressed, describing the sum as ‘no more than a proposed budget for as yet unspecified activities.’

Instead, HCSEC demanded Huawei produce, ‘details of the transformation plan and evidence of its impact on products being used in UK networks before it can be confident it will drive change,’ before it gives the Chinese tech giant the green light.

Huawei has long been the bogeyman for the Americans who have banned the company’s involvement of the country’s cyber infrastructure. And in the UK the government has set itself against the company.

And despite the real shortcomings found there is no reference in the HCSEC’s report concerning threats from the Chinese state apparatus. And, as some have commented, while it is good to expose Huawei’s vulnerabilities other vendors have not had the same level of scrutiny.

Image: Raysonho

Tim Bamford author picture


Tim is a veteran freelance journalist writing extensively on internet news and cybersecurity.

News What's the story?

Keep up with the latest developments in UK broadband.

Can the internet cope with mass self-isolation?

With traffic at unprecedented highs, can the web's infrastructure cope?

Can the internet cope with mass self-isolation?Can the internet cope with mass self-isolation? Read more

UK ISPs remove data caps during pandemic

The UK’s biggest broadband providers have agreed not to limit internet allowances during the current crisis.

Read more

The rise and rise of Chinese tech firms

Read more

The new homes with 1GB broadband connections

Read more

Help Learn with us

Make the most of the internet with our broadband library.

2.4GHz vs 5GHz wifi – what’s the difference?

Many modern routers offer dual-band wifi - but which band should you use?

2.4GHz vs 5GHz wifi – what’s the difference?2.4GHz vs 5GHz wifi – what’s the difference? Read more

What are the best streaming services for children?

Read more

Why do I need to use One Time Passwords?

Must we forever put up with those extra layers of security...

Read more

Can you access the Dark Web without the Tor browser?

Read more