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back to article Huawei dismisses NSA backdoor claims as profits soar

It’s been a mixed week for Chinese telecoms giant Huawei after the firm announced impressive financials but was forced again to deny allegations of security weaknesses in its products. The device and telecoms kit maker announced its unaudited financials on Wednesday, claiming sales revenue for 2013 will reach between 238 billion …

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What difference does it make? We can be safe to assume the spooks are into everything.

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Anonymous Coward

The difference is that the NSA is perfectly happy with Cisco/(any US manufactured) kit since it appears to have a good handle on how to get into that, whereas any installation of Huawei is in effect a blind spot as they don't have the backdoors.

IMHO, this is why there is this large amount of anti-Huawei marketing: where Huawei goes, the NSA no longer has access, which is, for instance, why they are so pissed off with BT going for Huawei.

Of course, this is all theory. It does, however, fit the intentions we have seen displayed in what Snowden leaked.

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But then, of course, the Chinese government has access. We're damned if we do and damned if we don't. Oh, and just look where the bulk of our digital kit is made nowadays.

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FUD

If the NSA is as evil as they are made out to be, then they surely started spreading FUD about non-american network kit by now. Hard for us to tell the difference between news and FUD unless we get proper documents from reliable sources (i.e. Snowden).

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Re: FUD

But is there really any good reason to consider Snowden's releases as coming from "reliable sources"? Their provenance is, to be generous, a bit murky and the chain of custody unclear. Quite a number are not in doubt due to confirmation by independent sources such as the US government, but in many cases we apparently are compelled to rely on unnamed sources who have "seen" the documents.

While most of the technical claims are quite plausible, most of the evidence, so called, would be inadmissible in a US court and open to reasonable doubt if admitted. That said, they quite possibly are true for the likes of both Huawei and Cisco, as all complex software is likely to have unknown vulnerabilities, and all enterprise qualified network equipment has back doors in the form of out of band management capabilities.

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FAIL

Re: FUD

It's NOT NSA you have to worry about, it's those GCHQ types who are, in effect, totally out of control and lack any meaningful OVERSIGHT.

Neither are they known about by the UK public and the immoral work they do.

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Black Helicopters

Re: FUD

"Chain of custody" must be a lawyer, FIB, or NSA speaking.

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Let me get this right....

The NSA are complaining the kit does have backdoors, just not theirs?

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Pretty much -- and that's a problem if you're a western government or company with any form of technology you'd rather not have stolen by Chinese competitors.

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Black Helicopters

Not quite, read the article: "deny allegations made in a Der Spiegel article published last month that the NSA had installed back doors in kit made by Huawei"

i.e. there are reports that the NSA had managed to backdoor Huawei kit which is fairly plausible, given what else they're purported to have done.

This is a different allegation to previously which is that Huawei kit wasn't safe in the US because it had Chinese state sponsored backdoors installed. The irony of USA complaining of state-sponsored backdoors in light of the Snowden revelations isn't missed, though.

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Anonymous Coward

> Huawei is a private, 100 per cent employee-owned company. We share the same goal as our customers to raise the standards of cyber security, to ensure technology benefits consumers. Our video conferencing equipment is based on the industry’s global standards, to suggest it is specifically open to abuse would be misleading.

Note they don't actually deny the allegation. Note the implication that standard itself is back-doored.

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> Huawei is a private, 100 per cent employee-owned company

It's not a good sign when a company flat out lies about something in a press release denying wrongdoing. Also: no of course it doesn't have NSA backdoors, that's as silly as expecting Windows to have FSB or Chinese Secret Service backdoors. No, if it has any backdoors it is Chinese Secret Service backdoors. Remember them? The guys who first hacked and then kicked Google out of China in retaliation for Google not letting them read gmail? The guys who run Renren and Baidu? The employer of roughly half the board of Huawei?

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NSA narked?

Are NSA complaining that Huawei's back doors are better than NSA's?

All I hear is a spolt brat whining.

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Re: NSA narked?

> Are NSA complaining that Huawei's back doors are better than NSA's?

Where do people get this weird idea that Chinese spying somehow offsets US spying? It doesn't, it compounds it. It is not rational to defend Chinese spying on the grounds that the US spies.

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Happy

I'd rather have the Chinese check my ...

backend as opposed to anything in the West.

The only information about Chinese activities comes from that fountain of truth, the US Government, whereas much of what we know about NSA and GCHQ comes from Edward Snowden.

Of the two who would you trust more? The USA or Snowden?

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Re: I'd rather have the Chinese check my ...

Well, I certainly wouldn't trust *you*! Since you seem to hate the West so much, maybe you should "do a Snowden", and go and live over the other side of the planet, where hopefully they won't have any computers for you to post your drivel!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'd rather have the Chinese check my ...

Pointing out that western governments and security agencies are lying back stabbing freedom hating scum bags is grounds to have you sent to the other side of the world and have your freedom of speech removed.

An Interesting opinion Comrade Rastus.

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Re: I'd rather have the Chinese check my ...

> Since you seem to hate the West so much

Disagreeing with your government is pretty much a requirement for democracy to function in the interests of the people and disagreeing with existing commercial interests the basis of market competition and innovation.

If someone is reading my email, I'd rather the Chinese read it because they don't rule me and they are less likely to share my data with my government as a matter of course. That makes my government's surveillance plans less effective and if everyone did that, it might discourage them from spending money on those plans, which I dislike philosophically because I see impending financial collapse and the Germans can tell you what that does to people and governments.

Don't give the government the tools or the incentive to build mass surveillance systems. I know - its too late, but we can still fight the machine.

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Holmes

"For the last time, we're NOT a security risk"...

Well, they would say that...

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Why finger Cisco?

It would be easy to point a finger at Ciso if they a US-only development shop.

But Cisco has development centres scattered through USA, Europe and Asia. It is virtually impossible to keep little dirty secrets in an organisation like that.

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Coat

Re: Why finger Cisco?

Because Pancho was saddle sore and not in the mood for digital entertainment?

....I'll get my coat.

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Boffin

Obviously, one should not use Huawei kit -

that is, if the NSA has been anywhere near it, since, according to der Spiegel, that delightful organisation («Defending our Nation. Securing the Future.» attempts to install backdoors on it. Actually, what the article in question had to say was the following

ANT [Advanced Network Technology ?] offers malware and hardware for use on computers made by Cisco, Dell, Juniper, Hewlett-Packard and Chinese company Huawei.
which would seem to greatly restrict the kit that the security-interested user can safely install. Better break out that old soldering iron !...

Henri

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