Feeds

New Delhi accuses Huawei of nobbling ZTE kit at state-owned telco

Cross-departmental body to figure out just what happened in Andhra Pradesh

Huawei is facing renewed scrutiny in India after the government confirmed it has set-up a cross-departmental team to investigate allegations the firm sabotaged the network of state-owned telco BSNL.

Comms and IT minister T. Killi Kruparani told India’s lower house the Lok Sabah on Wednesday (via PTI):

An incident about alleged hacking of BSNL network by Huawei, a Chinese telecom company, has come to notice. The government has constituted an inter-ministerial team to investigate the matter.

The minister didn’t share any further details in the written reply, although reports about an alleged incident have circulated for months.

It is claimed that Huawei engineers hacked a BSNL base station controller (BSC) in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh back in September/October 2013.

The story has added spice because Shenzhen rival ZTE had previously won a contract to expand BSNL’s network in Rajahmundry and elsewhere, so the telco suspected some form of "inter-corporate rivalry" was at work.

A report in The Hindu back in December 2013 claimed that the inter-governmental team had been set up because it wasn’t satisfied with BSNL’s private handling of the incident.

The Andhra Pradesh region is particularly sensitive for New Delhi because it is a stronghold for militant Maoist rebels, or Naxals, who've been involved in a long-running battle with the government.

“Several key questions have remained unanswered by the BSNL Andhra Pradesh circle … We will find out entire details about the hacking of BSC like failure of password management, change in database, accessibility of BSC from remote location and authorisation of commands to Huawei personnel,” a senior official told The Hindu at the time.

“Considering the fact that all this has happened in a coastal city, and that too in a Naxal-affected State, a thorough probe might bring out more facts.”

Huawei representatives in Shenzhen couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

However, the Indian government has expressed concern in the past about potential security vulnerabilities in kit produced by it and ZTE. In May last year reports emerged that the Department of Telecommunications was planning to set up a dedicated lab to test telecoms equipment. ®

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.