Tuesday, 19 February 2019 06:07

ASD says no comment on UK Huawei risk report at this stage Featured

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ASD says no comment on UK Huawei risk report at this stage Pixabay

The Australian Signals Directorate says it has, at present, no comment to make on reports that the UK's National Cyber Security Centre has found that any risks posed by equipment supplied by Chinese firm Huawei for 5G rollouts can be mitigated.

An ASD spokesperson told iTWire, in response to an inquiry, that the article which reported the NCSC's conclusion had stated "the [British] government 5G review was 'ongoing' and 'No decisions have been taken'."

As this process was as yet incomplete, the spokesperson said: "ASD does not have any comment to make at this time."

The NCSC's conclusion, reported by London's Financial Times on Sunday, was conveyed to the paper by two individuals said to be familiar with the agency's finding, and said there were ways to limit the risks from using the company's gear in future ultra-fast networks.

The conclusion was characterised as a "serious blow" to ongoing American efforts to persuade European and other countries not to use Chinese equipment in 5G networks.

An NCSC spokesperson told iTWire it would not comment on the specifics of the FT report.

"The National Cyber Security Centre is committed to the security of UK networks, and we have a unique oversight and understanding of Huawei engineering and cyber security," the spokesperson said.

"As was made clear in July's HCSEC oversight board, the NCSC has concerns around Huawei's engineering and security capabilities. We have set out the improvements we expect the company to make."

The reference was the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre where the company's staff work alongside members of the NCSC to sort out any issues perceived as causing security issues for British networks. Each year, the CSEC's Oversight Board issues a report, outlining issues, if any.

"The latest Annual HCSEC report will be published in the near future," the spokesperson added.

The US has been campaigning for at least the last two years to try and get countries that it considers allies not to use Huawei equipment in the rollout of 5G networks. Australia has bowed to these wishes, as has New Zealand.

iTWire also contacted Huawei for comment, but the company had nothing to add to the report.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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