Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Huawei Hacks Indian Cell Phone Company? Data Security and Chinese Firms

Posted by w_thames_the_d on October 25, 2014


The following describes how China’s Huawei and others are causing concern love India. Chinese companies have a spotty history when it comes to data security. This was proven by Washington before they banned both Huawei and ZTE kit from being used by the US government.

More recently, Bill Gertz reported that Huawei treid to infiltrate and hack the NSA via a third party contarctor; I wonder if Snowden taught them that?

Excerpt
By Bill Gertz – The Washington Times – Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Chinese telecommunications equipment giant Huawei Technologies sought to gain access to National Security Agency computer networks this year in a failed cyberespionage attack, U.S. officials said.

The company, which the U.S. government has linked to China’s military, sought to penetrate NSA networks through a U.S. defense contractor, officials familiar with intelligence reports said of the attempted cyberattack.

The attempted network penetration was discussed in mid-August during a meeting of an interagency security group called G-FIRST, for Government Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams.

The identity of the defense contractor could not be learned.

A Department of Homeland Security official declined to comment, citing a policy of not discussing defense contractor issues. He referred questions to the Pentagon. The Homeland Security Department coordinates the G-FIRST group.’
Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/oct/15/inside-the-ring-chinese-tried-to-hack-nsa-using-us/#ixzz3HDbqvzSP

It would seem odd that a ‘normal commercial company’ such as Huawei would try and penetrate a US spy agency. But then again, Huawei is not normal. As is shown below, they also used ‘ huawei engineers’ to hack into an Indian telco network. An interesting aside is that Huawei allegedly allows Chinese soldiers to dress up as Huawei employees and then infiltrate and presumably hack client networks. Such seems to be what happened in the case below.

Excerpt
‘Concerns among Indian authorities on the safety of the smartphone users’ data made by Xiaomi are the latest in a string of security issues related to Chinese firms that are active in the Indian market.
Chinese companies and consortiums with Chinese links have already been barred from bidding for contracts to build Indian ports and in February this year, the previous UPA government had accused Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei of allegedly hacking state-owned BSNL’s network.
Heavy engineering and technology firms, especially those with connections with China’s military establishment, have always been viewed with suspicion in India. Chinese firms like Huawei, ZTE, Cosco and ZPMC have all been the subject of security concerns. ZPMC was one of the firms affected by India’s rules barring Chinese companies for port projects.
In February, former minister of state for communications and IT Killi Kruparani informed the Lok Sabha that an incident of alleged hacking of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited’s network by the Chinese telecom company Huawei had come to the government’s notice.
“The government has constituted an interministerial team to investigate the matter,” Kruparani said in a written reply in parliament without giving details. In 2013, reports had suggested that a BSNL mobile tower in Andhra Pradesh had been hacked by engineers of a Chinese firm. Concerns had also been expressed when BSNL awarded a major part of its network expansion tender, covering 10.15 million lines to ZTE, another Chinese company, in 2012.
Huawei was also a contender for this tender. With Chinese companies emerging as the biggest suppliers of hardware and software to Indian telecom firms, a parliamentary panel had recommended in 2012 that the government should test the telecom equipment for security. The committee also suggested that India should consider the US model of auditing telecom equipments that can have serious security implications.’

In many ways China is not communist. The vast number of billionaires who are party members proves this. In other ways, however, they truly are. Beijing’s obsessive need for control over commercial assets proves this beyond a shadow of a doubt.

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