A damning report out of the US alleges that Chinese technology giant Huawei could reportedly access the mobile networks that it helped build around the world, and that it has been able to do so for more than a decade.
In a report in the Wall Street Journal, unnamed US officials gave details of the privileged access enjoyed by Huawei, exploiting access methodologies typically reserved for law enforcement agencies in host countries. These claims were allegedly disclosed by the US to intelligence partners Germany and the UK at the end of 2019.
The backdoors – which isn’t really an accurate term, given they are inserted to allow law enforcement agencies access to carrier equipment – are found in base stations, antennas and switching gear, according to WSJ, but the design of these access paths was such that Huawei could – and did – access them in production environments.
“We have evidence that Huawei has the capability secretly to access sensitive and personal information in systems it maintains and sells around the world,” Robert O’Brien, national security adviser, reportedly said.
Could Huawei have exploited similar access in Australia? Given that the firm has communications equipment in some of our 3G and 4G networks, the possibility exists, but the WSJ report doesn’t discuss Australia.
Huawei in Australia has been approached for comment.