Huawei and ZTE hardware and software pose security threats: Czech cyber watchdog

Huawei is facing strong headwinds from perceived national security threats from nations around the world due to its close proximity to China’s ruling Communist Party. Nations around the world have concerns that these close ties could enable China to easily snoop around and gather intelligence using Huawei and ZTE hardware and/or software.

In a significant development, Czech cyber watchdog has warned network operators against using software or hardware manufactured by Huawei and ZTE, as they pose a security threat.

The development comes in the wake of Huawei facing growing scrutiny from countries around the wold over its ties to the Chinese government midst concerns that its equipment could be used by Beijing for spying purposes.

Huawei has repeatedly denied the allegations.

“China’s laws … require private companies residing in China to cooperate with intelligence services, therefore introducing them into the key state systems might present a threat,” said Dusan Navratil, director of the Czech National Cyber and Information Security Agency (NCISA).

He went on to add, system administrators in critical information infrastructure, be it in the private sector or in the state, should take “adequate measures” against the threats emanating from Huawei and ZTE equipment and software.

The Czech government agency said, its security warning notice was based on its findings which mirrored those of its allies.

Huawei’s spokesman stated, “We categorically deny any suggestion that we pose a threat to national security. We call for NCISA to provide evidence instead of tarnishing Huawei’s reputation without any proof.”

“There are no laws or regulations in China to compel Huawei, or any other company, to install ‘mandatory back doors’,” said Huawei’s spokesman. “Huawei has never received any such request from any government and we would never agree to it”.

Deutsche Telekom, which owns T-Mobile US has also come under pressure to stop using Huawei equipment, said sources.

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