Telecom equipment manufactured by Huawei is far more likely to contain flaws than equipment from rival companies according to new research from the US-based cybersecurity company Finite State which has been deemed “credible” by top government officials.
The report, published in the Wall Street Journal (opens in new tab), revealed that the Chinese networking giant's equipment is more likely to contain security flaws which could be exploited by hackers when compared to similar equipment manufactured by its rivals Juniper and Arista.
Over half of the nearly 10,000 firmware images encoded into more than 500 variations of enterprise network-equipment devices Finite State's researchers tested contained at least one such exploitable vulnerability.
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The firm's tests were compiled in a new report which was submitted to senior officials across multiple government agencies in the US and the UK in recent weeks.
The report has gained a great deal of attention for its findings but also for the fact that it is circulating among Trump administration officials who say if further validates their policy decisions towards Huawei. A White House official commented on the report's finding, saying:
“This report supports our assessment that since 2009, Huawei has maintained covert access to some of the systems it has installed for international customers. Huawei does not disclose this covert access to customers nor local governments. This covert access enables Huawei to record information and modify databases on those local systems.”
According to Finite State's chief executive Matt Wychouse, the security report was done pro-bono as the company believed making this information public was the best way to inform policy makers of the security issues in Huawei's equipment. However, the report itself is not available on the company's website for further examination.
Finite State is a relatively unknown company that has only existed for two years. In that time, the firm has only released two white papers (opens in new tab) which were both published on September 26 of last year.
Finite State makes big claims in its report but until it is publicly released, we won't know for sure if its findings are accurate. However, now that the news is out, further investigation into its legitimacy will likely be carried out by the media, world governments and of course by Huawei itself.