Huawei welcomes outsiders to find flaws in its telecoms tech

Huawei's cyber security chief tells MPs that it "stands naked in front of the world" when it comes to security transparency


Huawei has further denied links to the Chinese government in a hearing before the UK's Technology and Science Select Committee.

The Chinese telecoms giant's cyber security chief, John Suffolk, told MPs on Monday that the company had never been asked by China or any other government to "do anything untoward".

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Suffolk went on to add that Huawei welcomed outsiders to analyse its products and detect engineering or coding flaws.

"We stand naked in front of the world, but we would prefer to do that because it enables us to improve our products," he said, reported the BBC. "We want people to find things, whether they find one or one thousand, we don't care. We are not embarrassed by what people find."

"We've never had a request from the Chinese government to do anything untoward at all. We have never been asked by the Chinese government or any other government, I might add, to do anything that would weaken the security of a product."

The Technology and Science Select Committee invited Huawei to answer questions from MPs on the security of its equipment and its alleged links to the Chinese government.

The Chinese firm is the world's largest maker of telecoms equipment, placing it front and centre for 5G technology, but it's faced questions about its security after the US government encouraged its allies to drop Huawei saying the Chinese government could use its products for surveillance.

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With regards to its 5G infrastructure, the Select Committee went on to ask Suffolk if Huawei would be able to remotely access the UK's 5G mobile networks via its equipment.

He stressed that it is a provider of telecommunications equipment to mobile network operators, it doesn't run networks, and as such, has no access to any of the data that is running across these networks. He added that Huawei is also only one of about 200 vendors who would be providing various different bits of equipment that would eventually make up a 5G network in the UK. This is something that has been echoed by Cisco's CEO

Most recently, the company agreed to a deal with Russian telecoms firm MTS to deploy 5G networks across the country. The deal was made during a meeting with the Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC) has been reviewing the security of Huawei's infrastructure for five years, releasing reports annually, and its most recent report identified a "significantly increased risk" to UK network operators based on fresh concerns with Huawei's approach to devices and software development.

"HCSEC's work continues to identify significant, concerning issues in Huawei's approach to software development bringing significantly increased risk to UK operators, which requires ongoing management and mitigation," the report said.

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