Huawei to judge?

 In ITC's Threat of the Week

We couldn’t start this week’s May Day Bank Holiday weekend missive without having a little chat about the Huawei debacle.

As you will no doubt have read, the United States Government has been urging the UK to avoid using Huawei technology in the forthcoming 5G rollout (oh no, we are all going to die from radiation poisoning, if not worse).

As the tussle in the Gods progressed, the fact that the UK was about to ignore the advice of our special relationship amigos and allow the use of Huawei kit (in non-core deployments, whatever that means) nonetheless, was leaked to the press and in the following behind closed doors investigation, the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson was accused of being the source of the leak and sacked.

We are often accused of being conspiracy theorists, so it is just for fact-based informational purposes and nothing else that we bring to your attention the following members of Huawei’s senior management, all of whom had UK Government positions under Dave:

Lord Browne – Chairman of Huawei UK, formerly Cabinet Office non-executive director

Sir Andrew Cahn – Non-executive and board member of Huawei UK, formerly Head of UK Trade and Investment

John Suffolk – Senior Vice President and Global Cyber Security & Privacy Officer (GSPO) for Huawei, formerly Chief Information Officer for the UK Government

It appears that Huawei employing former senior government figures is not just restricted to the UK, for instance a retired Australian Rear Admiral, John Lord is the Chairman of Huawei Australia.

‘What are the real issues around using Chinese technology in Critical National Infrastructure?’ we hear absolutely nobody ask. It is fairly unlikely that the equipment would be used for massive data exfiltration, however it could be disrupted, provide access (via backdoors) to the wider national network, and since it has to be maintained and serviced, provide the locations of UK datacentres, exchanges and interconnections (yes, we know about Equinix/Telecity – the locations of AWS DCs, less so).

Shrieking headlines are already referring to backdoors in Huawei kit, however it transpires that they were nothing more than a Telnet port for maintenance.

So if you read the press, 5G is either going to melt your head or be used to undermine society as we know it and lead the world into a new Cyber Cold War.

If only an American company had a viable, affordable 5G platform eh? Then we would all be saved.

As you know, at ITC we are serious about third-party supplier management. Whilst not expecting a call from the Government any time soon, we can help you manage your third-party risk using our robust processes and technology. If you would like to discuss this, please contact us at: [email protected] or call 020 7517 3900.

Have a great May Day Bank Holiday, try not to fall over the Maypole after a bout of Cider.

Author: Kevin Whelan

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