Monday, March 26, 2012

US House Intelligence Committee Is Investigating Huawei Cyber Espionage Angle

Cyber espionage and cyber warfare are two issues that are taken very seriously by all nations. This is logical as well as a planned and targeted cyber espionage strategy and cyber warfare attack can provide sensitive, crucial and important information to the attacker adversary.

Recently the cyber security concerns excluded Huawei from Australian Broadband Project (ABP). Even ZTE has been accused of facilitating e-surveillance in Iran. Now it has been reported that the US House Intelligence Committee is investigating Huawei role amid concerns that it is an arm of Beijing's cyber-espionage effort.

The recent episode of banning Huawei from bidding on Australia’s $37.5 billion national broadband (NBN) project reflects the growing distrust and discomfort of the Western security agencies over suspicions that these telecom companies work with Beijing to steal commercial or strategic information.

The investigation by the US House Intelligence Committee would focus on the threat posed by Chinese telecom equipment providers to critical infrastructure in the US. However, Huawei has been denying such allegations and possible security threats from its equipments.

China has been increasingly accused of engaging in cyber espionage and cyber warfare activities. Even India has been targeted through cyber espionage and cyber warfare attacks. Similarly, India has also raised concerns regarding using telecom equipments of Huawei and ZTE for cyber security reasons.

Although we have no applicable telecom equipments security framework of India yet Indian government has shown great concerns regarding telecom security. Indian government has also announced that telecom equipments must be certified by TEC in India before use. This is the reason why telecom equipment providers like Huawei and ZTE were trapped in telecom security tangle of India.

There is an urgent need to formulate a new national telecom network security policy of India. In fact, a national telecom network security coordination board (NTNCCB) of India has already been suggested to be constituted in India. Some significant provisions in this regard have also been suggested by the national telecom policy of India 2012. However, by and large, the telecom security infrastructure and telecom policy of India are still defective and insufficient.

Meanwhile Chinese telecom companies like Huawei and ZTE are performing really well in Pakistan, Nigeria, etc where they got good contracts to execute. However, sooner or later, the cyber security issues would be raised at such places as well. It is in the interest of Huawei and ZTE to clear the air of suspicion so that its business is not adversely effected.

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