Monday, March 24, 2014

Hacking Huawei

The latest NSA leak: The NSA hacked Huawei:

The American government conducted a major intelligence offensive against China, with targets including the Chinese government and networking company Huawei, according to documents from former NSA worker Edward Snowden that have been viewed by SPIEGEL and the New York Times. Among the American intelligence service's targets were former Chinese President Hu Jintao, the Chinese Trade Ministry, banks, as well as telecommunications companies.

But the NSA made a special effort to target Huawei. With 150,000 employees and €28 billion ($38.6 billion) in annual revenues, the company is the world's second largest network equipment supplier. At the beginning of 2009, the NSA began an extensive operation, referred to internally as "Shotgiant," against the company, which is considered a major competitor to US-based Cisco. The company produces smartphones and tablets, but also mobile phone infrastructure, WLAN routers and fiber optic cable -- the kind of technology that is decisive in the NSA's battle for data supremacy.

They stole their customer lists, they stole their source code, and they spied on the company's internal business communications. Ostensibly this was done so they could determine whether Huawei equipment could be used by the Chinese government for spying - but according to the New York Times piece, it was also done to allow them hack other networks which used Huawei equipment. So, it turns out that there is a good reason to ban Huawei from sensitive networks - but its the US, rather than China, which exploits it.

Meanwhile, it seems a bit rich for the US to be complaining about Chinese "cyber-espionage" when they're pulling this sort of shit. But hypocrisy is what the US does.