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British Prime Minister David Cameron has been warned that telecoms equipment made by Chinese firm Huawei should be tested by security services to protect against potential cyber attacks.
The parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee is expected to highlight the central role played by Chinese company Huawei in Britain’s telecoms network, and recommend measures to identify where its products are in use, according to a Yahoo! report.
Last year, a U.S. Congressional report labelled Huawei a “national security threat”, according to the Washington Post. The Chinese company has been the subject of national security concerns in several countries including Australia and India. ESET Security Evangelist Stephen Cobb said in an earlier piece relating to Huawei, “There is no cheap or easy fix for an attack carried out at the switch and router level.”
Huawei won a contract to supply equipment to BT for a network backbone upgrade in 2005. Its products are also used by cellphone networks such as EE in the UK. Questions were raised by government ministers when Huawei was awarded the contract, according to The Register. The company is headed by Ren Zhengfei, a former telecoms research chief in the People’s Liberation Army.
Huawei denies that it is linked to the Chinese Communist Party, and says that its equipment cannot be used to steal information.
The committee is expected to recommend that future British contracts relating to “critical infrastructure” have to be approved at ministerial level, and that Huawei’s facility in Banbury, Oxfordshite, should be overseen by security services. The committee is also expected to recommend that Britain’s telecoms network should be audited to identify where Huawei products are in use.
Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security