The United States government has made huge efforts to ban Huawei from the country, claiming security concerns as the reason. This week, the British government has released a report which points out a handful of “significant defects” in the security of Huawei networking equipment, giving some credence to US claims.

As reported by The New York Times, a British review of Huawei’s telecommunications equipment for 5G connectivity has uncovered some “significant” security problems. The report says that these “underlying defects” in Huawei’s software could be exploited both by attackers and foreign governments which could, in turn, pose national security risks.

The British report goes on to explain that Huawei’s 5G network equipment may pose these risks, but it doesn’t change the fact that the Chinese company is a key provider of this sort of equipment. To that end, the report doesn’t explicitly call for an outright ban on Huawei’s equipment. Britain’s top cybersecurity agency, however, did endorse a ban. NY Times further explains:

The British report highlights broader challenges facing many countries. While Huawei products may pose cybersecurity risks, the company is a key provider of the equipment needed to build 5G networks. If countries issue an outright ban, they could face costly delays in adopting the technology that not only will increase the download speeds of mobile phones but is expected to create breakthroughs in manufacturing, transportation and health care.

Apparently, Huawei couldn’t replicate portions of the software code which caused the concerns. The report describes a company with “poor engineering practices and problems stemming from those engineering flaws.”

Britain’s findings regarding Huawei back up the United States’ claims against the company. In the past several months, the US Government has largely pushed Huawei’s business out of the country, including its smartphones. Even though Britain’s findings don’t directly backup the US’ claim that Huawei’s equipment would feed data to the Chinese government, it certainly does not paint a good picture for the company’s hardware.

At the moment, Huawei is fighting back in the US with a lawsuit against the government.

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Ben Schoon

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