According to a Wall Street Journal article released today, U.S. officials have evidence that Huawei has backdoor access to cellular networks around the world.
"We have evidence that Huawei has the ability to secretly access confidential and personal information in systems that it maintains and sells worldwide," Robert O & # 39; US National Security Advisor told the journal.
The United States has long claimed that Huawei can secretly access networks through the network equipment it sells to telecommunications companies. However, the government previously argued that no evidence was required. U.S. officials are still not making such evidence publicly available, but have started to share their findings with other countries, the journal's report said.
The journal wrote:
The United States held intelligence agencies high up until the end of last year, when officials from the United States, according to officials from the three countries, gave details to allies, including Britain and Germany. This was a tactical U-turn from the United States that had argued in the past that there was no need to clearly demonstrate the threat Huawei posed to the security of the nations.
The U.S. shared this evidence at the same time the Trump administration was trying to convince allies to get Huawei equipment out of their networks.
US officials said they knew Huawei's backdoor access "since it was observed in early 4G devices in 2009," the journal wrote. However, US officials quoted by the journal "refused to say whether the US has observed Huawei using this access."
Law enforcement back doors
Telecommunications equipment manufacturers who sell products to network operators "are required by law to incorporate hardware into their hardware so that government agencies can access the network for lawful purposes," but they "must also build equipment so that the manufacturer cannot gain access." without the consent of the network operator, "wrote the journal.
US officials say Huawei has violated these laws, which are being enforced in several countries, the journal wrote:
According to US representatives, Huawei has built devices that enable the manufacturer to access networks via these interfaces without the knowledge of the network operator. The officials did not provide details of where they believe Huawei can access networks. Other manufacturers don't have the same skills, they said.
A US official told the journal: "Huawei does not pass this covert access on to its local customers or the host country's national security agencies."
Huawei says it doesn't spy
Huawei denied the recent allegations, as it did in the past, and said it had "never done anything that would, or will, compromise the security of its customers' networks and data." Huawei also said the United States made its recent allegations "without concrete evidence".
"No Huawei employee can access the network without the express permission of the network operator," said a Huawei official, the journal said.
The U.S. government has taken measures to reduce the number of Huawei and ZTE devices on telecommunications networks. The Federal Communications Commission unanimously voted in November to ban Huawei and ZTE equipment for projects funded by the FCC's Universal Service Fund (USF). FCC chairman Ajit Pai said at the time that Huawei and ZTE were "closely related to China's communist government and military apparatus" and "subject to Chinese law, which generally obliges them to cooperate with and deal with requests from the country's intelligence agencies To keep requests secret. "
The ban is likely to hit small network operators hardest, as Huawei has targeted small network operators by selling cheap equipment. In contrast, major telecommunications companies like AT&T "stayed away from Huawei for a long time," according to a March 2018 report by the Wall Street Journal.