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back to article New Oz government keeps Huawei ban after spook briefing

The brief thawing of Australian government attitudes to Huawei has turned out to be a false springtime, with the nation's new Attorney-General George Brandis deciding that the decision to keep the Chinese giant out of the National Broadband Network (NBN) will remain. According to the Australian Financial Review, the decision …

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Well, its a problem for them, every 2nd USB modem, Phone, seems to a Huawei, I have 2 Phones/2USB here, they might not want them, but their wonderful privitised phone system is awash with them, and don't get started on re-branded phones etc...

Still its Tony Abbott, we will be lucky if he and his Tight arse business pals think dialup was more than enough speed for the plebs, be lucky if don't end up back on "viatel" (300/75 baud) with the Liberals

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Pot, kettle, etc . . .

I got the feeling that the Huawei equipment might pose problems for the slurping of data.

The problem of course is that The Snowdon Files (as I am now going to call them, BBC mini-series-style) have shown us that we simply can't trust hardware or software vendors at all. If the US government is ordering US vendors to insert both hardware and software backdoors and vulnerabilities then it is almost laughable to assume that the Chinese government is not doing likewise with Chinese vendors.

The US government (through its various arms and agencies) has compelled US vendors to compromise their products to enable mass spying and then forced them to lie about it. What possible value can be placed on any assurance by a Chinese IT vendor?

Of course I am not suggesting that a Chinese company or the Chinese people (in general) are not to be trusted due to their nationality, just that the Chinese government is VERY controlling of Chinese companies.

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One backdoor rather than two

As most western kit is made in China, it would seem that Huawei kit might be slightly less risky as they wouldn't include the western backdoor.

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You have to remember

That we have a government here who think the NSA have done a sterling job and would happily turn over all Australian's records to the US government too, because, well, terrorism you know.

And that goes equally for both of the two major parties. I do wonder sometimes if they've got incriminating photos of the lot of 'em.

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Re: You have to remember

Australia and NZ are already exposed to US hacking. New Zealand’s satellite interception station is civilian (NSA ID NZC333).

The output of the Australian interception site near Geraldton, Western Australia, is never seen in Australia. Pine Gap, near Alice Springs - employs American and British staff!

An Australian intercept site, at Shoal Bay near Darwin, Northern Territories, with 9 satellite interception antennae is not, however, part of the ECHELON network, as Australia refuses to share the raw intercepts with the United States and Britain.

So much for trust.

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Of course Huawei is dangerous - they don't have NSA backdoors in their routers, so if they become widely used for infrastructure they'll require riskier techniques to be used for intercepts.

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First time posters often smell like Trolls. What proof do you have Huawei is 'dangerous'? Cisco, D-Link, LinkSys, etc. have been found with backdoors.

If you think non-Chinese products are risky - most are made there anyway - how many people do you know who actually upgrade network components with software patches? THAT practice is VERY RISKY.

In any event, my experience is that routers and hubs end up as foot rests, coated with years of dust, and very rarely looked at.

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Anonymous Coward

Ethical Standards

One would think that Huawei would be passed over due to being accused of stealing Cisco source code and running it on their knock-off switches....but hey, they're just similar to bring "familiarity" and "compatibility" right?

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Some perspective please

I have two Huawei PPoE modems at work and one at home - BT FTTC white boxes.

They can be unlocked and examined: http://hackingecibfocusv2fubirevb.wordpress.com/

They are modems only so need something to drive them to connect to ISP(s). Mine have a PFSense router doing the job and that certainly doesn't allow them to get at my LANs. Provided you trust your router to protect you from their modems then you should be fine P) Mind you if your router is a Huawei ...

They could be analysing traffic and reporting that perhaps by doing their own login to another "provider". However I think that would stand out in some way upstream of me and the countless other customers with these things.

Yes there could be a back door to China but in this case I'm not too fussed and I think it unlikely. Besides it would have to compete with the NSA/GCHQ approved one.

Cheers

Jon

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Big Brother

Re: Some perspective please

@gerdesj - "Yes there could be a back door to China but in this case I'm not too fussed and I think it unlikely."

Totally valid points, but that's concerning the home/SOHO products. I would suspect that the likelihood of back-doors or deliberate vulnerabilities would increase in the kind of gear that would be rolled-out at the backbone and nodes of the NBN. If it wasn't in the 'off-the-shelf' versions then I doubt even that would be relevant as such a large contract is easily justification for modifications for those specific units.

On another point you make, you may be able to see and disassemble the code etc... but a lot of the concern is hardware-based exploits - i.e. special chips added specifically for intercept/attack purposes.

I don't think people at home should be worried about buying a TP-Link or Huawei product (try and avoid Huawei if you do mobile - I am on a 3G connection at the moment running via a Huawei part!) but custom orders for thousands of high-end units for a national backbone network?

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Re: Some perspective please

Proof of Chinese Back Doors ....

http://www.easywaybuilding.com/

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I'd trust Chinese made gear more than bent US or British gear

No one has proved Huawei, or any other CN manufacturer, has compromised equipment, other than Tenda. The purpose of the dodgy Tenda software has not been determined but it might just be a leftover from design.

Reliability is far more important, than anything, to me and having over 920 TP-Link routers and hubs all over VietNam with only one adapter having been damaged during a thunderstorm. We visit each unit whenever there is a software upgrade.

One undocumented TP-Link feature is the ability to max out the RF output to 0.5W or 1W according to model! Really punches through Rebar filled concrete walls and floors.

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Re: I'd trust Chinese made gear more than bent US or British gear

"Reliability is far more important, than anything, to me and having over 920 TP-Link routers and hubs all over VietNam with only one adapter having been damaged during a thunderstorm. We visit each unit whenever there is a software upgrade.

One undocumented TP-Link feature is the ability to max out the RF output to 0.5W or 1W according to model! Really punches through Rebar filled concrete walls and floors."

I'm looking forward to getting my hands on my father's TP-Link router he uses in China, which he'll bring back for me play around with :) Just hope I don't break it ;)

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...if the USA thinks Huawei is dangerous and Australia thinks Huawei is dangerous and the two share intelligence, as we know they do, why doesn't the UK think Huawei is dangerous?...

Let me guess...

The UK doesn't have any secrets worth keeping...?

The UK isn't about to offer a big tender that Huawei and some US companies are bidding for...?

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Why expect rationality?

Since this is all about paranoia, stereotyping, xenophobia, and political posturing, why would you expect any rational reason to be needed for anything?

Rationally, you are far safer from backdoors with Chinese kit, because their industry doesn't have the fifty years or so experience with modern signals intelligence that UKUSA companies have. PRISM didn't just happen by accident, did it?

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@ Dodgy Geezer

Hauwei cannot interface with the zx-81 thats routes your internet backbone ?

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i wouldnt trust huawai

After seeing what the NSA have done in the USA (and the rest of the world), breaking / backdooring crypto standards and possibly hardware (intels random number generator) I would expect that everything is backdoored. Sure the intel guy who made intels RNG says no way it is backdoored, but whos to say that one person in the right place didnt slip one on the silicon before it was produced? The same thing is surely happening in China. The regime is different, but people are people. So the question becomes whos back door do you want on your infrastructure? Im guessing China is enough of a threat to take seriously.

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They tell lies!!!

If security is the height of the issue, then consider this; Huawei claims their products are up to scratch but in a recent contract in Tahiti, they lied about their products meeting EU standards. My understanding is that they believe (arrogantly) that just because their equipment meets Chinese standard then it should be accepted as meeting all other standard. They're now required by the client to pull their equipment, to be replaced by a third party equipment because Tahiti is a French territory and hence required to meet EU standards but more specifically because they lied (there's the face of the Chinese). If they can get away with it, they will even if they have to lie through their teeth, or should I say, FACE!

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