Huawei Devices Can Covertly Access Mobile Networks

Tech Security

Tech giant Huawei has been alleged to breach tech security by covertly accessing mobile-phone networks around the world through “back doors” designed for use by law enforcement agencies.

The United States said it has evidence that Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei can covertly obtain data from networks that use its equipment, White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien and other officials told the Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. is stepping up its campaign to pressure allies to reject Huawei equipment in their 5G networks after the U.K. recently decided to grant Huawei limited access.

“We have evidence that Huawei has the capability secretly to access sensitive and personal information in systems it maintains and sells around the world,” O'Brien told the Journal.

The big picture: U.S. officials have had limited success convincing allied leaders, including the U.K.'s Boris Johnson and Germany's Angela Merkel, that the Chinese government could coerce Huawei into using its equipment to spy or disrupt foreign networks.

Australia, meanwhile, has come to a similar conclusion as the U.S. that there is no way to mitigate the threat, while British signals intelligence has also issued numerous warnings about potential vulnerabilities.

Huawei has however denied the allegations, saying that it “has never and will never do anything that would compromise or endanger the security of networks and data of its clients."

Intelligence shows Huawei has had this secret capability for more than a decade.