Feeds

Indians appoint Huawei as technical spycatcher

No one else wanted the gig

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Huawei will help set up a research centre in Bangalore dedicated to checking out foreign kit for covert listening technologies, something Huawei obviously knows nothing about.

The centre has already started operating on a pilot basis, but is funded for expansion, according to The Times of India. Who is paying – and how much – isn't clear, but the focus will be on equipment coming from China, in order to allay fears that such kit comes complete with remote interception or control software (or hardware) hidden inside.

Huawei and ZTE are both desperate to supply telecommunications kit to India, whose telecom industry is expanding rapidly, but last year fears of Chinese state control saw both Huawei and ZTE kit banned from import to India. That ban lasted six months, until August, and was only resolved when the suppliers agreed to provide copies of their embedded source code – sealed up for decryption if/when necessary.

So now Huawei has turned gatekeeper and will be working with the Indian Institute of Science to examine all kit imported into the country for signs of illicit Trojans, including kit shipped in by Huawei itself.

Appointing the major supplier to police those supplies might seem perverse, but the options were limited. India has no domestic companies with the necessary skills, and other suppliers apparently balked at having to reveal so many technical details of their products and methods, so the Indian government was stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Huawei, it seems, has no such reluctance (though we've yet to confirm the details directly). The Times' spoke to officials who assured reporters that Huawei is happy to share "documentation, expertise, methods and standards for studying telecom equipment", as well as getting a good look at what ZTE is supplying, we'd imagine.

Not that Huawei will need much additional motivation: sales into India were worth a shade under £800m last year, despite the company being unable to ship into the country for six months, which is probably enough money to deter anyone from installing spyware on the equipment. ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.