US officials claim Huawei Equipment has secret backdoor for spying

Pierluigi Paganini February 13, 2020

Huawei can secretly tap into communications through the networking equipment, states a U.S. official, while White House urge allies to ban the Chinese giant.

This week The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. officials say Huawei can covertly access telecom networks where its equipment is installed.

“U.S. officials say Huawei Technologies Co. can covertly access mobile-phone networks around the world through “back doors” designed for use by law enforcement, as Washington tries to persuade allies to exclude the Chinese company from their networks.” states The Wall Street Journal.

“Intelligence shows Huawei has had this secret capability for more than a decade, U.S. officials said. Huawei rejected the allegations.”

On Tuesday evening, after The Wall Street Journal quoted him as one of the officials that are accusing Huawei, the U.S. national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, made the statement at an Atlantic Council forum.

The U.S. national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, made the statement at an Atlantic Council forum on Tuesday evening, but he did not provide any evidence of the presence of the alleged backdoors.

Huawei issued a statement on Wednesday denying any accusation, it “has never and will never covertly access telecom networks, nor do we have the capability to do so.”

In November 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US Government was urging its allies to exclude Huawei from critical infrastructure and 5G architectures.

The United States continues to highlight 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.


Both the UK and the European Union did not ban the Chinese equipment, the British authorities excluded Huawei from supplying equipment used in the core of the national 5G network.

“Independent cybersecurity experts say the intelligence services of global powers including the United States routinely exploit vulnerabilities in networking equipment — regardless of the manufacturer — for espionage purposes.” reported the AP News.

“The United States and other countries require that so-called “lawful intercept” capabilities be built into networks, though the equipment manufacturers are not supposed to have secret access to them.”

Some experts pointed out that while the US intelligence has yet to disclose evidence for the presence of the backdoors in the Chinese equipment, the NSA has deployed surveillance implants in the equipment from several vendors in the past, including Huawei and CISCO.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – backdoor, intelligence)

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