New concern about China’s infiltration of UK telecoms network after US warning

A former senior analyst to the US Secretary for Defense has warned that:

“Chinese companies apparently have a covert capability to remotely access communications technology sold to the United States and other Western countries and could disable a country’s telecommunications infrastructure before a military engagement.”

 Writing on Friday, F Michael Maloof reported that:

“The Chinese also have the ability to exploit networks “to enable China to continue to steal technology and trade secrets,” according to the open source intelligence company Lignet, which is comprised of former U.S. intelligence analysts.

The issue centers on the Chinese firm Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., which U.S. intelligence sources say has direct links to the Chinese government and the People’s Liberation Army, or PLA. These sources assert that Huawei and other Chinese telecommunications firms such as ZTE Corp. have “electronic backdoors” to telecommunications technology sold to the U.S. and other countries.”

This is the same Huawei that I have reported before as providing key components to this country BT network and is being investigated by the US Congress but not by any equivalent UK body.

Huawei tell me that they are much-maligned and say that they are not linked to the People’s Liberation Army, but are just a private company trying to expand their business outside China.

In the UK the Government seems to be unconcerned that increasingly large parts of the country’s critical national infrastructure are under foreign ownership or are dependent for key components on overseas suppliers (there are a series of stories in yesterday’s Sunday Times behind its paywall about Chinese or Russian interests buying into the UK energy supply industry).

It is not clear why it can be assumed that these interests are necessarily benign and the UK Government doesn’t even seem to be interested in asking the question let alone doing anything about it.

How complacent can they get?


3 thoughts on “New concern about China’s infiltration of UK telecoms network after US warning”

  1. And what did Britain do with the enigma machine use it….
    Our IT people will have looked over any equipment. No worries. In a free democracy there is greater flair and creativity.

  2. There are two issues here: Chinese owned companies selling equipment to UK telecom operators and / or Chinese owned companies owning telecom operators.

    My recollection is that the concerns over ownership has appeared before and then disappeared from view. At one point Orange, which is French-owned, was considering selling a chunk of its shares to a Hong Kong based multinational and HMG quietly advised insiders to quit using Orange.

    Has anyone in the UK ever successfully found a “back door” in equipment from China?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *