Category Archives: Huawei

Huawei set for limited UK 5G role, but can we Trust Huawei?

Today the UK Government decided Huawei can be allowed to help build the UK's 5G network, but remain banned from supplying kit to "sensitive parts" of the core network. The Prime Minister Boris Johnson made long await decision to ends months of concern for the Chinese telecoms giant. 

The PM had briefed US President Donald Trump about the decision. Trump has been very vocal on his stance exclaiming, “we are not going to do business with Huawei”, and recently Trump’s administration is reportedly nearing publication of a rule that could further block shipments of US-made goods to Huawei. Trump administrator has said it 'is disappointed' with UK government decision. China had warned the UK there could be "substantial" repercussions to other trade and investment plans had the company been banned outright.

There was ferocious debate in the UK parliament post the government announcement, with MPs calling into question the cybersecurity risks which could prevail – the US says the cybersecurity risks are severe, the UK’s security services say they can be managed, whereas Australia has opted for an outright ban. There’s a clear disconnect and the decision today could cause turmoil to the US/UK working relationship that could ultimately impact a post-Brexit trade deal.

Can Huawei be trusted or will using its equipment leave communication networks, and our own mobile phones, vulnerable? The US says Huawei is a security risk, given the firm is heavily state supported and is run by Mr Ren who served in the Chinese military. Huawei 5G equipment could be used for spying and negatively impacting critical national infrastructure. 

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) published a document which says UK networks will have three years to comply with the caps on the use of Huawei's equipment.

"Huawei is reassured by the UK government's confirmation that we can continue working with our customers to keep the 5G rollout on track. It gives the UK access to world-leading technology and ensures a competitive market." the firm's UK chief Victor Zhang said in a statement.

UK security professionals have reported significant concerns around how digital transformation projects and the implementation of 5G will affect their risk posture. 89% of UK businesses said they have concerns around the implementation of emerging technologies and essential digital transformation projects and almost four in ten (38%) expect digital transformation and 5G to offer cybercriminals more effective and more destructive methods of achieving their nefarious goals, according to research from VMWare Carbon Black.

A10 Networks' VP of Strategy, Gunter Reiss said “The global dispute over whether tech giant Huawei should be used in national 5G networks has created a lot of geopolitical conversations around the 5G build-out, security to Critical National Infrastructure, and generally whether certain vendors should be included or excluded. However, operators need to base their decisions not on these opinions but on technology – the strength, innovation and security capabilities. With the massive increases in bandwidth, number of devices predicted to be on these networks and the growing security requirements, the technology being used must meet these needs.


A Security Compromise on Economical Grounds
"This is a good compromise between alleviating 'security' concerns and making sure that the 5G UK market is not harmed," commented Dimitris Mavrakis, a telecoms analyst at ABI Research. Previously I posted about National Security Vs Economic argument which has been behind the UK government decision - see The UK Government Huawei Dilemma and the Brexit Factor 

Huawei to get only partial access to UK’s 5G networks

Huawei and other “high risk” telecom providers will be excluded from the core of the U.K.’s 5G and gigabit-capable networks, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has decided.

It’s a move that could influence Canada’s decision on whether to allow carriers here to buy 5G equipment from Huawei. However, that decision is complicated by the tense relations with China over the detention of two Canadians after Huawei’s chief financial officer was arrested on an extradition request by the United States.

Bell and Telus, which use Huawei equipment in their 4G access networks, are waiting for a decision from Ottawa.

A number of national security experts have warned Ottawa that allowing Canadian carriers to buy 5G equipment from Chinese manufacturers would be a security risk in part because of Chinese law that mandates companies there work with its intelligence agencies. Against that Huawei says the Canadian division isn’t subject to Chinese law. At the same time IT security experts say any threat by Chinese telecom gear can be mitigated because governments already have to think about possible hacks of equipment from any manufacturer.

The U.S. and Australia have banned their carriers from buying 5G equipment from Chinese manufacturers.

Related:

Huawei moves U.S. research centre to Canada

We welcome scrutiny, says Huawei Canada’s new VP of government affairs

In a decision released this morning, the government defied warnings from the United States that allowing U.K. carriers to buy any 5G equipment from Chinese manufacturers will be a security risk and a decision that could imperil its position in the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing co-operative.

In its statement — which doesn’t specifically mention Huawei — the U.K. government set out restrictions carriers must obey when purchasing equipment from what are deemed high-risk vendors. High-risk vendors are defined as those which pose greater security and resilience risks to U.K. telecoms networks.

High-risk vendors are excluded from sensitive ‘core’ parts of 5G and gigabit-capable networks, including safety-related and safety-critical networks in Critical National Infrastructure. They are also cut out of “sensitive geographic locations, such as nuclear sites and military bases.”

There is also now a 35 per cent cap on high-risk vendor access to the access parts of those networks, meaning pieces like cellular antennas. Legislation enforcing the decision will be introduced soon.

Meanwhile, the U.K. National Cyber Security Centre has issued guidance to carriers to implement the decision.

Huawei UK chief Victor Zhang issued a statement saying “Huawei is reassured by the UK government’s confirmation that we can continue working with our customers to keep the 5G rollout on track. This evidence-based decision will result in a more advanced, more secure and more cost-effective telecoms infrastructure that is fit for the future. It gives the UK access to world-leading technology and ensures a competitive market.”

Canadian telecom consultant Mark Goldberg told ITWorldCanada.com that “I hope Canadian officials complete a thorough review of the issues and reach a conclusion based on facts and evidence, free of political interference.”

John Strand, a U.K.-based telcom analyst said in a note that the British decision limits the amount that Huawei can sell in the U.K. It also means that UK operators will have to prioritize network upgrades in the Western part of the country where Huawei equipment is largely deployed.

“Overall, the UK policy will send a strong signal to the rest of Europe and the world that the use of Chinese equipment poses a security risk and should be limited,” Strand wrote. “The UK new policy is a step in the right direction, and it underscores the need for greater scrutiny of technology from firms owned and/or affiliated with the Chinese government.”

Dimitris Mavrakis, research director at tech market advisory firm ABI Research said the U.K. ruling “is extremely good news for Huawei.” The firm is “thrilled” that government took advice from security advisors and didn’t submit to “pressure induced by geopolitical tactics … The decision is a good compromise between alleviating these “security” concerns and making sure that the 5G UK market is not harmed.”

Developing …

 

Boris Johnson gets final warning with Huawei 5G verdict imminent

Former senior government figures voice security fears as PM chairs meeting of NSC

Former ministers have sounded their final warnings to Boris Johnson about the Chinese telecoms firm Huawei ahead of his expected decision on whether it will play a part in the UK’s 5G network.

The prime minister will chair a meeting of the national security council (NSC) later on Tuesday before making a judgment on the firm’s future in the country after months of concern around security, including from the US president, Donald Trump.

5G is the next generation mobile phone network and it promises much higher connection speeds, lower latency (response times) and to be more reliable than the creaking 4G networks we have now.

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US officials meet UK peers to remark the urgency to ban Huawei 5G tech

U.S. officials responsible for national security and telecommunications were meeting their peers in Britain ahead of the final decision on Huawei 5G technology.

U.S. officials responsible for national security and telecommunications were meeting their peers in Britain in the attempt to convince U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government to ban Huawei 5G technology from its networks.

“The security and resilience of the U.K.’s telecoms network is of paramount importance,” spokesman Slack James Slack told reporters. “We have strict controls for how Huawei equipment is currently deployed in the U.K. The government is undertaking a comprehensive review to ensure the security and resilience of 5G and fiber in the U.K.”

Slack confirmed that the government is still investigating the security of the 5G network.

Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) has introduced last week a new bill that would ban the sharing of intelligence with countries that use Huawei equipment on their fifth-generation (5G) networks.

Since November 2018, the US Government has invited its allies to exclude Chinese equipment from critical infrastructure and 5G architectures over security concerns.

The United States always highlighted the risks to national security in case of adoption of Huawei equipment and is inviting internet providers and telco operators in allied countries to ban Huawei.

Chinese equipment is broadly adopted in many allied countries, including Germany, Italy, and Japan.

Many countries are going to build 5G infrastructure, but the approach of their governments is completely different.

Huawei

The U.S. has banned the use of Huawei products in federal agencies and In November Federal Communications Commission voted to cut off funds for Chinese telecom equipment from Huawei and ZTE. The US regulators consider the Chinese equipment in US telecommunications networks a threat to homeland security.

According to U.K. security minister Brandon Lewis, the British government would make the final decision on the adoption of Huawei technology for its 5G networks “relatively soon.”

Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – Bronze President, hacking)

The post US officials meet UK peers to remark the urgency to ban Huawei 5G tech appeared first on Security Affairs.

Huawei says ‘survival is our first priority’ in 2020 as western boycott bites

Chairman Eric Xu warns that hit from US sanctions means telecoms firm must ‘go all out’ to maintain sales

The embattled Chinese telecommunications company Huawei says “survival” is its first priority after announcing sales were hit hard by a boycott from western countries.

Eric Xu, the company’s chairman, said estimated sales revenue would reach 850bn yuan for 2019 (US$121bn) - up roughly 18% from the previous year, but much lower than initially expected.

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