Security agencies in Britain have identified some “shortcomings” in the telecoms technology of Huawei, Chinese phonemaker. Reportedly, it pose some “new risks” to UK networks.
In a government report to Sir Mark Sedwill, the national security adviser of the United Kingdom, the supply-chain and technical issues were revealed in the engineering processes of Huawei which will potentially affect the security of the British telecoms network.
In recent years, Huawei has come increasingly under scrutiny over security risks especially in Australia and the United States of America where lawmakers have stepped up their efforts to bar its equipment from the networks of the country.
According to Reuters, the largest retailer of consumer electronics in the United States, Best Buy, stopped stocking the products of Huawei, while Australia is preparing to ban the firm from supplying equipment for the country’s planned 5G network.
Currently, the firm supplies broadband equipment to the BT, the largest telecoms provider of the United Kingdom, and some mobile networks for Vodafone. In Europe, the company serves as a major supplier for Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom.
The said report was authored by an agency set up by Huawei as a response to concerns of the UK government regarding the possible security threats to national infrastructure. It is called the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC) and it was signed off by the National Cyber Security Centre of the United Kingdom, formerly part of GCHQ, the spy agency of the country.
In the said report, officials disclosed: “Identification of shortcomings in Huawei’s engineering processes have exposed new risks in the UK telecommunication networks and long-term challenges in mitigation and management.”
The added: “Due to areas of concern exposed through the proper functioning of the mitigation strategy and associated oversight mechanisms, the Oversight Board can provide only limited assurance that all risks to UK national security from Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s critical networks have been sufficiently mitigated.”
Upon the public release of the report, a spokesperson from Huawei, stated: “The Oversight Board has identified some areas for improvement in our engineering processes. We are grateful for this feedback and committed to addressing these issues.”
The Chinese phonemaker employs around 1,500 staff in the United Kingdom. Last February, it pledged to spend an additional £3 billion in Britain after a high-profile meeting between Sun Yafang, the company’s chairperson, and Theresa May, the British Prime Minister.