UK oversight board downgrades Huawei security assessment

23 Jul 2018

An independent oversight board established in the UK to assess the integrity of Huawei equipment has reportedly downgraded its assessment after uncovering technical and supply chain issues.

The Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC) oversight board has identified shortcomings in Huawei’s engineering processes that have exposed new risks for UK telecoms networks, Reutersreports.

Senior British security officials told the wire agency that they can now give only limited assurances that Huawei's UK operations pose no threat to national security.

A report from the board also identified concerns about the security of components of Huawei equipment provided by outside suppliers.

Huawei established the HCSEC to help reassure the UK government over any perceived risks associated with Huawei's involvement in critical national infrastructure projects. The HCSEC oversight board was established in 2014, and includes officials from the UK national intelligence and security organization GCHQ.

The HCSEC has never found any backdoor vulnerabilities in Huawei equipment and had previously provided full assurances that any risks to UK national security from Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s critical networks have been sufficiently mitigated.

A Huawei spokesperson told Reuters that the company is committed to addressing the issues raised in the report. The spokesperson added that the report concludes that HCSEC's operational independence is robust and effective.

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