United States officials claim Huawei has backdoor access to mobile networks globally

Joanna Estrada
February 14, 2020

Germany's legislature is set to vote in the coming weeks on a bill that would allow Huawei full access to its 5G market if the company provides security guarantees. "The report by the Washington Post this week about how the Central Intelligence Agency used an encryption company to spy on other countries for decades is yet additional proof". They allege that no one, no matter where they live, is out of Huawei's reach.

Huawei rejected the allegations. Huawei asserts that it "has never and will never do anything that would compromise or endanger the security of networks and data of its clients".

While all network hardware operators build in "lawful intercept" interfaces that allow law enforcement to access mobile network information with a court order, it is typically impossible to do so without the knowledge and approval of the mobile carrier.

Yesterday the Internet was a buzz with comments on the WSJ's story claiming that Huawei had backdoor access to mobile networks since 2009.

In ConsumerAffairs' research on the who, what, and where of this case, we found a multitude of telcos that use Huawei equipment. O'Brien notes that these backdoors are used on all of Huawei's systems worldwide, and they have dozens of evidence of leaks to access personal data. The sources of The Wall Street Journal did not provide details of where Huawei would be able to exploit the alleged vulnerability. The "interception interfaces are always located in protected premises on the operator's side", and are administered and utilized "solely by carriers and regulators", Huawei stated. "This is where Huawei's obligations with regards to lawful interception end".

The report quoted United States officials saying that Huawei was using backdoors that were intended for law enforcement for more than a decade. "Again, groundless accusations are being repeated without providing any kind of concrete evidence".

Claims are that although telecommunications manufacturers are needed to develop methods for police, Huawei has been making use of the backdoors without informing service providers.

The United States/Huawei disagreement assists show the value of file encryption.

The development has prompted former Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich to label Trump's failure to persuade allies on Huawei as "the biggest strategic defeat for the United States since the early days of World War II". Apple has actually declined federal government demands to deteriorate its items' security, stating that backdoors are bound to be found and utilized by harmful individuals.

The US has been making its blacklisting case for much of the previous year, but had been criticized previously by Germany and the United Kingdom for being a bit light on actual evidence.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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