Hobbling Huawei: Inside the U.S. war on China's tech giant

The Japan Times

CANBERRA - In early 2018, in a complex of low-rise buildings in the Australian capital, a team of government hackers was engaging in a destructive digital war game. The operatives -- agents of the Australian Signals Directorate, the nation's top-secret eavesdropping agency -- had been given a challenge. With all the offensive cyber tools at their disposal, what harm could they inflict if they had access to equipment installed in the 5G network, the next-generation mobile communications technology, of a target nation? What the team found, say current and former government officials, was sobering for Australian security and political leaders: The offensive potential of 5G was so great that if Australia were on the receiving end of such attacks, the country could be seriously exposed. The understanding of how 5G could be exploited for spying and to sabotage critical infrastructure changed everything for the Australians, according to people familiar with the deliberations. Mike Burgess, the head of the signals directorate, recently explained why the security of fifth generation, or 5G, technology was so important: It will be integral to the communications at the heart of a country's critical infrastructure- everything from electric power to water supplies to sewage, he said in a March speech at a Sydney research institute.


Hobbling Huawei: Inside the U.S. war on China's tech giant

The Japan Times

CANBERRA - In early 2018, in a complex of low-rise buildings in the Australian capital, a team of government hackers was engaging in a destructive digital war game. The operatives -- agents of the Australian Signals Directorate, the nation's top-secret eavesdropping agency -- had been given a challenge. With all the offensive cyber tools at their disposal, what harm could they inflict if they had access to equipment installed in the 5G network, the next-generation mobile communications technology, of a target nation? What the team found, say current and former government officials, was sobering for Australian security and political leaders: The offensive potential of 5G was so great that if Australia were on the receiving end of such attacks, the country could be seriously exposed. The understanding of how 5G could be exploited for spying and to sabotage critical infrastructure changed everything for the Australians, according to people familiar with the deliberations. Mike Burgess, the head of the signals directorate, recently explained why the security of fifth generation, or 5G, technology was so important: It will be integral to the communications at the heart of a country's critical infrastructure- everything from electric power to water supplies to sewage, he said in a March speech at a Sydney research institute.


Why 5G Leader Huawei Could Get Shut Out of a Major Rollout

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

Australian Attorney-General Christian Porter said officials at the Department of Home Affairs are assessing risks to critical infrastructure and whether Huawei--which was banned in 2012 from tendering for a national high-speed broadband network over similar issues concerns--should also be blocked from 5G mobile. "The reality is that Chinese corporate structures and relationships with government in China are very different from the relationships of corporate entities to government in Australia," Mr. Porter said Thursday. A spokesman for Huawei, which has long denied its products pose security threats, said, "We share Australia's concerns over cybersecurity and will work openly with authorities and carriers in Australia, as we do in other markets, to help address these issues." American officials raised concerns about the company with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Washington in February. Lawmakers and security agencies in the U.S. have said they are worried about the company's purported links to China's government.


US senators reportedly warn Trudeau to ban Huawei on 5G

ZDNet

United States Senators Marco Rubio and Mark Warner have reportedly told Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to ban Huawei from taking part in deploying the nation's 5G mobile networks. According to a report by Reuters, Rubio and Warner cited "grave concerns" about using 5G equipment from the Chinese technology giant due to potential danger to US networks. "While Canada has strong telecommunications security safeguards in place, we have serious concerns that such safeguards are inadequate given what the United States and other allies know about Huawei," Rubio and Warner said in a letter to Trudeau. However, it last month denied similar reports that the Indian government had excluded it from taking part in joint 5G trials, saying it is currently proposing a set of solutions to support the government's requirements for a nationwide 5G rollout. "Huawei is an active participant in India's growing 5G ecosystem," Huawei told ZDNet.


Allies balk at Trump administration bid to block Chinese firm from cutting-edge telecom markets

Los Angeles Times

Britain and Germany are balking at the Trump administration's call for a ban on equipment from Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, threatening a global U.S. campaign to thwart China's involvement in future mobile networks. Both countries are expected to limit Huawei and other Chinese companies from providing core components including routers. But other types of Chinese equipment for next-generation, high-speed communications could still be installed on British and German networks, officials and analysts say. The U.S. push to ban Huawei has provoked a global dispute in recent weeks, with senior U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, publicly urging NATO allies in Europe to exclude the company and warning that the United States might limit its military presence in countries that did not do so. Huawei's founder, Ren Zhengfei, has responded in a flurry of interviews, by denying that the company would go along with any Chinese government effort to steal data from foreign customers and their communication networks -- as the Trump administration suggests.