NSA infiltrated Huawei networks: report

Dylan Bushell-Embling
25 Mar 2014

The fallout over reports that the US NSA secretly infiltrated the servers of Chinese vendor Huawei threatens to escalate into a diplomatic incident.

Der Spiegelreported over the weekend - citing documents from Edward Snowden - that the NSA has infiltrated Huawei's network, copying a list of 1,400 customers and internal documents used to provide training for Huawei's engineers.

NSA spies also allegedly accessed Huawei's source code for multiple products, as well as the company's email archive.

NSA documents justify targeting the company by stating that many of its intelligence targets communicate over Huawei-produced products, as well as expressing concern that Huawei's infrastructure would give the Chinese government signals intelligence capabilities.

In the report, Huawei spokesman Bill Plummer pointed out the irony of the fact that US intelligence agencies appear to be doing to the company “what they have always charged that the Chinese are doing through us.”

Responding to the report and the subsequent media attention, China's Foreign Ministry on Monday demanded a clear explanation over the alleged spying, and also demanded that the US “stop such acts,” Reutersreported.

US officials have denied that its intelligence agencies spy on foreign companies to give their domestic rivals a competitive advantage.

Documents leaked in January accused the NSA of installing backdoors into network equipment including Huawei firewalls.

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