Huawei defends videoconferencing security

Dylan Bushell-Embling
14 Jan 2014
00:00

Huawei has been forced to defend the security of its videoconferencing gear, following reports that three UK government departments have ordered the vendor's equipment to be stripped out.

The Home Office, the Ministry for Justice and the Crown Prosecution Service have all ordered the removal of Huawei equipment, due to fears that Chinese spies could be eavesdropping on top-level operational meetings, the Mirrorreported, without citing sources.

The report states that while there is no suspicion that Huawei is directly involved in any spying activity, top government officials have concerns about potential vulnerabilities in the equipment.

A Huawei spokesperson countered to the Telegraph that the vendor's videoconferencing equipment is based on global standards, and denied that its equipment is open to abuse.

Huawei has been providing telecom equipment for the UK market since 2005. Despite the UK's status as a close ally to the US and Australia, the vendor has so far escaped the kind of exclusions it has faced in these markets.

But Huawei is coming under increasing scrutiny in the UK. Last month, the government ordered that intelligence agency GHCQ direct all senior appointments at Huawei's Cyber Security Evaluation Centre – the vendor's initiative to reassure UK customers about the security of its equipment.

In related news, security expert Bruce Schneier recently published details of a secret tool developed by the NSA to act as a backdoor into Huawei firewalls.

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