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Huawei cyber vulnerabilities


The internet is dividing, and the choice boils down to China or the West


I read that article earlier today, and it seems more than a little simplistic. Countries like China and Russia are well aware that the Internet was created by the US and that vast amounts of Internet traffic are routinely sucked up by the US National Security Agency (NSA).

The idea that there are ‘good countries’ and ‘bad countries’ is more than a little chauvinistic - but suits the world-view of most people (and reporters). In reality, Australia is allied to a country that has been the world’s biggest war-maker over the last 70 years, and our media is making sure we are following along behind still. How many countries has China invaded during this period? Governments undermined and/or overthrown? Coups orchestrated? Militant regimes propped up, ignoring ever-climbing body counts?

The article also ignores most of Western Europe, which has chosen a ‘third way’ of Internet freedom plus personal privacy.


To misquote Tony Abbott … there are bad governments and worse governments.

This isn’t about wars or coups or invasions though. It’s about what is happening on the internet, primarily censorship and surveillance. From everything I’ve read and heard (I have a friend currently living in China), China is the worst of the worst.

Reading the article, I was myself sceptical about how much a government would be influenced by the technology that it chooses to install. It’s an interesting thesis, worthy of consideration, but not of uncritical acceptance.


It appears to be a common theme intent on dividing. Make your own comparisons and consider which aspect deserves first ranking.

Right and Wrong,
Poor and Rich,
Underdeveloped and Advanced,
Weak and Powerful.
Democratic and Autocratic.

And perhaps the most divisive of all divides,

NBN FTTP and satellite/FW?

Whether it is about which www is going to rule, or the risk a non US company can out tech the US, or equality of internet access.

I lament. There appears to be little interest behind the closed doors of government and business in shared solutions to the benefit of all.

At least I still have a choice and Choice!


You didn’t mention lifters and leaners!


From what i have heard from this recently.I personally wouldn’t be getting involved with this company


Had to post this somewhere, and the other thread won, but worth a mention here also.


“Huawei cyber vulnerabilities” is today’s version of “weapons of mass destruction”. They have not presented any hard evidence. I MIGHT have taken this into consideration if I was still working for the Defence Security Branch but as a civilian individual, local “friendly” corporations and governments represent a far greater threat to my privacy. Eg Facebook.


British officials have also raised concerns about security issues but said they can manage the risks and have seen no evidence of spying. Huawei has repeatedly denied the allegations against it.

“Huawei as a company builds stuff very differently to their Western counterparts. Part of that is because of how quickly they’ve grown up, part of it could be cultural - who knows,” said Ian Levy, Technical Director of Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre, part of the GCHQ signals intelligence agency.

“What we have learnt as a result of that, the security is objectively worse, and we need to cope with that,” he told a conference in London.

Asked about how Huawei compares with its competitors, Levy said: “Certainly nothing is perfect, certainly Huawei is shoddy, the others are less shoddy.”

Interesting (different by a few degrees) perspective. Of course you need to measure it against who is telling the story, and associated translations/etc.


The Brits are in trouble with the US, and by association the rest of the Five Eyes (all of whom followed the US lead). Saying that Huawei needs to ‘improve its security’ is a way of saying ‘trust us guys, we’re onto them’.

In other words, they want to eat their cake.


One thing that needs to be remembered is the public perception of all this is based on scant public disclosures, scant for very good reason, and a lot of journalistic rhetoric (sometimes called bovine faeces) designed to sell advertising and support owners agenda (which is to cement position to better sell advertising).


True but … our governments do it so why on earth would you assume that the Chinese government does not do it?

That public report was about one (quite niche) Huawei device. It really doesn’t tell you much about the vast majority of Huawei devices - in particular doesn’t tell you anything concrete about which devices might be intentionally compromised by the Chinese government (as opposed to poorly engineered with sloppy software engineering processes and lax attention to basic secure coding practices).


I’m not assuming anything. The ‘scant disclosures’ I refer to are because this information is not for general dissemination and it really is the tip of the iceberg.


Some of the world’s biggest tech companies have told their employees to stop talking about technology and technical standards with counterparts at Huawei Technologies Co Ltd in response to the recent US blacklisting of the Chinese tech firm, according to people familiar with the matter.

Chipmakers Intel Corp and Qualcomm Inc, mobile research firm InterDigital Wireless Inc and South Korean carrier LG Uplus have restricted employees from informal conversations with Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, the sources said.

An interesting example of the press potentially making a big thing out of something small or of no interest at all if it weren’t for the names involved. These kinds of ‘restrictions’ are not unprecedented and not even uncommon - in some sectors of industry they are positively routine.


It is probably so simple as saluting per


My bad. What I meant in the first place and what I should have written is:

True but … our governments do it so why on earth would one assume that the Chinese government does not do it?

I would make a stronger statement. Our governments do it so I would assume that the Chinese government does it. They are all as bad as each other in that regard. In this war the first casualty is security and privacy.

The high value target is the end user device however. Intermediate network equipment (such as discussed in the above public report) might be useful for a massive DoS attack and might be useful for capturing low hanging fruit (unencrypted traffic and traffic analysis) but anything really interesting will be encrypted and obscured, so you need to compromise the end user device. It is Huawei phones that should be banned. However it is much worse than that since most phones are made in China anyway.


And how right they got it that time…a deodorant can packed with CFCs.


The most relevant of those old commercials to Huawei was one where the Uncle Sam singer was driving a double deck stars and stripes bus through a desert landscape. It came upon a Russian soldier who was presented a can of Uncle Sam, and then on to a Chinese solder who was likewise presented. It was especially clever considering the politics of the time. Sadly no trace of that one I can find - maybe they reused that tape for a No96 episode? :wink:


Yes, but which should I fear more - the government that has the power to raid the offices and homes of journalists it disagrees with, or… wait, bad example.

Too soon?

Shouldn’t we ban any devices that are designed and/or made in the US, since it has a well-known program to commandeer these before they leave the country? Oh, I forgot - friends don’t spy on friends.


That song is a take-off of Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines! It’s taken me 40+ years to realise it.