UK Cyber-Security Centre Declares Huawei’s 5G Hardware Security Risks “Manageable”

By Nitish Singh / February 18, 2019

Earlier this month, it was reported that the UK government is examining Huawei’s alleged espionage activity. While a decision surrounding the Chinese manufacturer’s involvement with the Chinese government is still pending, officials in the UK believe that the cybersecurity risks of using Huawei’s 5G hardware are “manageable.”

Unlike the UK, the US may ban Huawei hardware from being used in future 5G networks. The US government has already banned the Chinese company’s hardware from being used internally and has requested allies to do the same. The concerns surrounding Huawei began when China’s 2017 National Intelligence implied Chinese companies could help the government by sharing sensitive information from their hardware.

Despite UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) saying the risks involved with Huawei’s 5G hardware is manageable, two UK telecoms have already boycotted the manufacturer’s hardware as part of their 5G rollout. EE and Vodafone are concerned about the security risks involved. Other major British carriers like O2 and Three have not revealed any intention of boycotting Huawei equipment.

Huawei has had a complex relationship with the UK in the recent past. Last year the company’s engineering processes were found not to offer enough oversight about their security measures. The NCSC has asked the concerns to be addressed. The recent decision to give a green signal to the manufacturer makes the UK one of the few countries that have not banned the company’s products after an investigation.

Other members of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance including Australia and New Zealand have already banned Huawei hardware in 2018. The NCSC’s decision pertains to the use of 5G hardware only and has nothing to do with the Chinese manufacturer’s involvement in espionage activity. A full report by the UK government is still pending and will be published later this year.

What do you think about the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) giving a green signal to Huawei hardware? Let us know in the comments below. Join the discussions on our socials, on Facebook and Twitter.

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