5G Security Concerns and Huawei

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As the rollout of 5G comes ever closer, there has been an increased focus on Chinese firm Huawei’s role in the network. Many Western countries have raised concerns that the company is an arm of the Chinese state and used for spying. This something Huawei has repeatedly denied. Late in 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump was reportedly even considering an executive order that would have banned the use of Huawei equipment, Bloomberg News has a nice roundup of the current state-of-play.

5G isn’t easier to hack than its predecessors, but it will eventually connect many more devices than in the past, so protection from outside malign forces becomes a larger concern. Some nations are worried that Chinese 5G equipment, chips and software could be outfitted to spy on other nations.

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2 thoughts on “5G Security Concerns and Huawei

  • They keep talking about spying, and while I think spying is a risk I don’t think it’s the biggest danger.
    Once the network is upgraded, and many more essential things are connected, a service interruption would be hugely damaging to a country. It could even endanger national security. So if China wanted to make a move on some smaller country, a patch could be pushed out to all Huawei equipment that on a particular day would disrupt communication, connected systems, and critical infrastructure. By the time the “bug” passed China would be in control of Okinawa, Taiwan, VietNam, or wherever else it wanted. In addition this ability to disrupt critical infrastructure could be used to “invisibly” damage and degrade the economies and societies of countries that China sees as a challenge. Suddenly, Wall Street traders are finding trades are not being completed. Payments are taken but stocks are not being credited. The stock value of critical companies could be manipulated to cause panic. Reported value of currencies could be altered, bringing about mass buying or selling. It could be very subtle, but very damaging.

    Huawei isn’t the problem. Single sourcing is. If one company controls the majority of a critical system, they own that system.

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