A couple weeks back, a U.S. Congressional report suggested that Huawei, because of influence from the Chinese government, posed a potential espionage risk. The panel strongly encouraged companies to find another vendor for their networking equipment, and that using Huawei's gear put customer data, intellectual property, and national security at risk.

Today, information obtained by Reuters suggests that this may not be the case. The White House has had a presidential probe in place for the past 18 months, and it's findings show that there is no clear evidence that Huawei is sending off sensitive data to China, or anyone else.

There is still cause for alarm though, as some experts suggest that major security holes make Huawei's equipment more vulnerable to outside attack, and warn that these security holes could have been planted by Huawei as a backdoor for exploitation. Conversely, others seem sure the security issues are a result of "sloppy coding and poor procedures" rather than a direct attempt to sabotage the equipment.

In the end, what matters is that companies purchasing expensive networking gear spend time and money to get the equipment fully vetted and the software inspected to ensure its safety. Huawei may not be spying for China, but if their equipment is riddled with holes and bugs it's probably best not to use it.

Cyber security is a real issue, and it's always evolving. We can only hope that the good guys evolve as fast as the bad guys do. 

Source: Reuters


Reader comments

White House probe finds no evidence of Huawei spying for China, but 'poor security practices' are a concern


I personally have very little trust or faith in ANY company that has strong ties to gov't at any level. Huawei is good example of this in China. Much like GE is here in the US. When a company, whose sole mission in life is to make profit (nothing wrong with profit by the way), is too comfortable with gov't then the playing field isn't level.

I'm using GE as the primary example here in the US since they have basically leveraged huge chunks of their business to gov't contracts paid by the taxpayer. It gives them unfair advantage in the marketplace against other competitors & even becomes almost incestuous at how both gov't & the dependant companies will begin to defend & support one another to further their own agendas. Defense contractors, food service vendors, & virtually any company doing long term business with gov't are no different.

I know people are calling it paranoia, and people are pointing out the US's hypocrisy in this stuff, which is all fair enough. But this is about the base structure of the Internet. It is now important as the Roads or the Water or the Electricity.
You have to be very careful with it, and "China", be it the government or corporate or private people, do not have a good history when it comes to hackery.
You have to super careful about this.

Who cares if it is US hypocrisy? What, there aren't any other vendors out there? Huawei and ZTE have consistenly shown that they cannot be trusted. Is it any wonder that several countries are wary of them? Heck I think Huawei was even founded by a high level CPC official and military man.

You won't believe how often Cisco and other companies have raised concerns of Huawei outright ripping off their designs or structures.

People can leave the anti-US crap at the door. I'd rather we spend a little more if we have to, and not have a company with deep ties to our most likely next "opponent" on the global stage.

Anyone who thinks China is the perfect counterpoint to the US is kidding themselves. They are a country of over 1 billion, ruled by fear and propaganda. Look at this anti-Japan stuff. The government is actually pushing this to happen. The closest allies of China are North Korea (a country which has enslaved and starved it's population for over 50+ years), Pakistan, Iran and Sudan.

Yes the US isn't perfect, but believe me, the countries of the world would rather deal with the US than China. Look how ruthlessly they are investing in Africa. You think they'll care if anyone complains?