Vodafone Reveals Huawei Installed Backdoors in Internet Routers


RouterWhile the state of Huawei and its telecoms business is stellar compared to what the competition offers, the Chinese corporation does not have a clean track record based on how it conducts its operations. After being slapped by a series of bans, Huawei does not supply telecoms equipment to the U.S. and its allies such as New Zealand, a move that has been supported by privacy issues such as possible cases of spying and so forth. Huawei has also been blamed for stealing trade secrets and technologies from American companies – an accusation that has since been dismissed by the corporation’s Chairman.

Now, it has emerged that Huawei actually shipped flawed products and services to Europe’s largest mobile operator, Vodafone Group. This information was revealed by Bloomberg, which cited that back in 2011, Huawei had unauthorized access to Vodafone’s fixed-line network in Italy. At that time, Vodafone further identified backdoors in Huawei-supplied internet routers.

However, the latter security issue was not addressed as promised because further tests that were performed by Vodafone revealed the backdoors were still in place. Furthermore, the carrier identified that a section of its fixed-access network known as optical service nodes that transport internet traffic over fibre optic cables.

The allegations have since been denied by Huawei. According to the company, there were some security issues in their equipment, but did not meet the ‘backdoor’ threshold.

“Software vulnerabilities are an industry-wide challenge,” a Huawei spokesperson told ZDNET. “Like every ICT vendor we have a well-established public notification and patching process, and when a vulnerability is identified we work closely with our partners to take the appropriate corrective action.”

That said, it is clear that the strides made by the corporation are significant; it leads the pack in terms of 5G equipment deployment, and its mobile division, which shipped near 60 million phones in the first quarter of 2019, raked massive profits in a financial report that was made official a couple of days ago.

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Kenn Abuya is a friend of technology, with bias in enterprise and mobile tech. Share your thoughts, tips and hate mail at [email protected]