Skip to main content
Black Listed News
Trending Articles:
Trending Articles:

The U.S. is Worried About China Spying via Huawei Because it Did the Same in the Past

Published: December 11, 2018
Share | Print This


Source: Nextgov

The U.S. is again warning its allies about the risks of using telecom equipment made by China’s Huawei. American officials have briefed their counterparts in countries like Germany, Italy, and Japan about what they argue are potential cybersecurity risks, according to the Wall Street Journal. This follows previous warnings, such as a claim earlier this year that American citizens shouldn’t use Huawei’s phones.

The U.S. may be concerned about Chinese government influence embedded in Huawei’s technology because America’s spy agencies have done the same thing in the past.

Western governments have long been wary of Huawei, which was founded by Ren Zhengfei, a former People’s Liberation Army soldier. (The recent arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who is Zhengfei’s daughter, over allegations of violating of Iran trade sanctions is apparently separate to concerns about cyber espionage.)

Shenzhen-based Huawei, founded in 1987, has grown into the world’s largest supplier of telecom network equipment, beating out firms like Cisco, Ericsson, and Nokia. Critics see Huawei as a possible Trojan horse that, once embedded in international communications systems, could provide opportunities for Chinese government spying or remote control of vital telecom systems. Huawei has vigorously denied these claims.

American officials have reportedly used this strategy in the past. One example goes back to the late 1980s, when cryptography—previously a tightly controlled technology monopolized by the military—was spreading from academia to commercial businesses. As personal computers caught on, tech companies needed a way to secure data and information from hackers and other criminals who might want to steal it. Lotus Notes, a database company, used cryptography to secure its users’ information. But exporting software using high-grade cryptographic techniques was subject to U.S. State Department controls at the time.

When Lotus Notes sought to sell its products abroad, the National Security Agency leaned on it to use a weaker version of cryptography in its product, according to Stephen Levy’s book Crypto. After years of discussions, the NSA allowed Lotus Notes to ship its product for export using 32-bit encryption, compared with a 64-bit version in the domestic version. At the time, cracking 64-bit encryption through brute force (computers cycling through ever possible key combination) was seen as just about impossible.

But 32-bit encryption was far more vulnerable, especially against the NSA’s supercomputers which, even then, could easily crack such codes within days, according to Levy’s book. The 32-bit version was so weak that even well-resourced thieves could break the encryption within 60 days using personal computers—a timeframe that everyone knew would get shorter as computing power became cheaper, faster, and more widely available.

Fast forward to 2018, and anxieties about Huawei’s telecom equipment have risen as the world prepares to switch to 5G networking technology. Huawei has been at the forefront of developing 5G tech.

Given their own past behavior, the handwringing by American officials makes sense. The U.S. push to influence encryption in the private sector suggests that there are good reasons to think China could do the same with homegrown technologies.

Related Articles:

The Democratic National Committee warned party candidates running in November elections not to use devices made by Chinese telecommunications companies ZTE Corp and Huawei Technologies because they pose a security risk, a Democratic source said on Friday.

The Pentagon is cracking down on the sale of Chinese-designed phones and other devices over hacking concerns. The Defense Department announced Wednesday that it is banning the sale of phones made by Chinese-based companies Huawei and ZTE on military bases worldwide over worries that the companies could hack the phones and use them to gather intelligence for the Chinese government. 

Share This Article...


Emigrate While You Still Can! Learn more...


PLEASE DISABLE AD BLOCKER TO VIEW DISQUS COMMENTS

Ad Blocking software disables some of the functionality of our website, including our comments section for some browsers.





SIGN UP TO GET BLACKLISTED NEWS DELIVERED RIGHT TO YOUR INBOX

Enter your email address:





More Blacklisted News...

Blacklisted Radio
Blacklisted Nation
On Patreon
On Gab
On Twitter
On Reddit
On Facebook
Blacklisted Radio:
Republic Broadcasting
Podcasts on Youtube
Podcasts on Demand
On Iheart Radio
On Spreaker
On Stitcher
On iTunes
On Tunein

Our IP Address:
198.245.55.242

Sponsors:
good
longboard
brands


Advertise Here...





BlackListed News 2006-2018