These concerns intensified with Huawei's involvement in the development of 5G wireless networks, and have led to some countries implementing or contemplating restrictions on the use of Chinese-made hardware in these networks. In March , Huawei sued the U. Huawei exited the U.
Huawei has also faced allegations that it has engaged in corporate espionage to steal competitors' intellectual property , and in , was restricted from performing commerce with U. The evidence included typos from Cisco's technical manuals that also appeared in Huawei's, after being presented with the evidence Ren replied "coincidence".
In February , Cisco Systems sued Huawei Technologies for allegedly infringing on its patents and illegally copying source code used in its routers and switches.
Huawei's chief representative in the U. In response, Cisco revealed parts of the independent expert's report produced for the case which proved that Huawei had stolen Cisco code and directly copied it into their products. T-Mobile claimed in its filed suit that Huawei's employees snuck into a T-Mobile lab during the period of — and stole parts of its smartphone testing robot Tappy. The Huawei employees then copied the operating software and design details, violating confidentiality agreements that both companies signed.
Furthermore, Huawei is now using the stolen parts and data to build its own testing robot. A Huawei spokesman stated to The New York Times that there is some truth to the complaint, but that the two employees involved have been fired. T-Mobile has since stopped using Huawei as a supplier, which T-Mobile says could cost it tens of millions of dollars as it moves away from its handsets.
Huawei responded to the lawsuit by arguing that Tappy was not a trade secret, and that it was made by Epson , not T-Mobile. According to Huawei, "T-Mobile's statement of the alleged trade secret is an insufficient, generic statement that captures virtually every component of its robot", and it had failed to point out any trade secret stolen with sufficient specificity. T-Mobile dismissed Huawei's arguments, and contended that Epson had provided only a component of the robot. In July , Motorola filed an amended complaint that named Huawei as a co-defendant in its case against Lemko for alleged theft of trade secrets.
In a further move to protect its intellectual property, Huawei filed lawsuits in Germany, France and Hungary in April against ZTE for patent and trademark infringement.
In , Brian Shields, who was the senior cybersecurity analyst of the Canadian telecommunications company Nortel , alleged that state-directed Chinese networks had comprehensively penetrated the company's networks from at least until the company's bankruptcy in He alleged that Huawei who had been a contract manufacturer for Nortel was the primary beneficiary of the hack. In June , a Huawei employee was caught diagramming and photographing circuit boards after-hours from a competitor booth at the SuperComm trade show.
Huawei was under investigation by FBI in the United States for sending some diamond glass samples developed by the company Ahkan Semiconductor to China without authorization to test and destroy the product in order to steal intellectual property. In the U. Both deals fell through.
In the United Kingdom, the Conservative Party raised concerns about security over Huawei's bid for Marconi in ,  and the company's equipment was mentioned as an alleged potential threat in a government briefing by Alex Allan, chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee. In October , the Indian Department of Telecommunications reportedly requested national telecom operators to "self-regulate" the use of all equipment from European, U. In a open letter, Huawei stated that the security concerns are "unfounded and unproven" and called on the U.
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The organisation found that only a few investment deals were blocked following unfavorable findings by the CFIUS or had been given a recommendation not to apply. However, all large transactions had been politicised by groups including the U. In December , Bloomberg reported that the U.
The US House Intelligence Committee had said on 18 November that it would investigate foreign companies, and a spokesman for Huawei said that the company conducts its businesses according to normal business practices and actually welcomed the investigation. In March , Australian media sources reported that the Australian government had excluded Huawei from tendering for contracts with NBN Co , a government-owned corporation that is managing the construction of the National Broadband Network ,  following advice from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation regarding security concerns.
On 9 October , a spokesperson for prime minister Stephen Harper indicated that the Canadian government invoked a national security exception to exclude Huawei from its plans to build a secure government communications network. On 19 July , Michael Hayden , former head of the U. National Security Agency and director of Motorola Solutions , claimed that he has seen hard evidence of backdoors in Huawei's networking equipment and that the company engaged in espionage and shared intimate knowledge of the foreign telecommunications systems with the Chinese government.
Huawei's global cybersecurity officer, John Suffolk, described the comments made by Hayden as "tired, unsubstantiated, defamatory remarks" and challenged him and other critics to present any evidence publicly.
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National Security Agency has since been operating a covert program against Huawei. This involved breaking into Huawei's internal networks, including headquarter networks and founder Ren Zhengfei's communications. In , Canada's immigration department said it planned to deny permanent resident visas to three Chinese citizens who worked for Huawei over concerns the applicants are involved in espionage, terrorism, and government subversion. In , an investigation by French newspaper Le Monde alleged that China had engaged in hacking the African Union headquarters in Ethiopia from to On 17 April , the Federal Communications Commission FCC held a preliminary, 5—0 vote on rules forbidding the use of government subsidies to purchase telecom equipment from companies deemed to be a risk to national security.
A draft of the policy specifically named Huawei and ZTE as examples. In August , U.
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The report cited, in particular, use of outdated versions of VxWorks in its networking equipment and inconsistent checksums between OS images, and during a visit to a Huawei development centre in Shanghai, it was found that Huawei had been using an "unmanageable number" of OpenSSL revisions between individual products. On 30 April , Bloomberg News published a report alleging that between and , Vodafone Italy had discovered several security vulnerabilities in its Huawei fixed-line network equipment, including unspecified backdoors in optical nodes and broadband gateways, and unsecured telnet on its home routers that could give Huawei access to Vodafone's network.
The report claimed that despite having claimed to have patched them, some of them had persisted through , and that the same vulnerabilities could be found in Huawei equipment used by other regional Vodafone subsidiaries. Both Huawei and Vodafone disputed Bloomberg ' s allegations: Huawei stated that the alleged security vulnerabilities had been patched after they were discovered and reported, and described the alleged "backdoors" as "technical mistakes" that had been "put right".
Vodafone stated that telnet was commonly used by the industry for performing diagnostics and "would not have been accessible from the internet", that it was "nothing more than a failure to remove a diagnostic function after development", and there was no evidence of any actual breaches. On 15 May , Trump issued the Executive Order on Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain, which gives the government power to restrict any transactions with "foreign adversaries" that involve information and communications technology.
The same day, also citing violations of economic sanctions against Iran , the U. Department of Commerce added Huawei and its affiliates to its entity list under the Export Administration Regulations. This restricts U. And that the reports came from unidentified intelligence sources. The Dutch paper claimed AIVD was determining whether or not the situation were used for spying by the Chinese government . The Czech Republic's cybersecurity agency issued a warning against Huawei and ZTE products, arguing that Chinese law required companies to "cooperate with intelligence services, therefore introducing them into the key state systems might present a threat".
Huawei refuted the arguments, stating that it is not required to include backdoors in its products, nor has the company ever received any requests to do so. However, the ban was reversed after the agency's claims were found to be without basis. Huawei commissioned  attorneys of the London-based law firm Clifford Chance and Beijing-based law firm Zhong Lun to review two Chinese bills commonly cited in these allegations the National Intelligence Law, and the Counter-Espionage Law. They concluded that there was no such requirement in Chinese law for backdoors to be included in telecom equipment, and that the laws were directed more towards the actual operators of telecom services, and not extraterritorial.
These findings were published in a Wired magazine opinion piece by Zhou Hanhua. Four members of the Five Eyes international intelligence alliance—Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US—have declared the use of Huawei telecommunications equipment, particularly in 5G networks , poses "significant security risks", while Canada is carrying out its own security review; only Britain is permitting the company to participate in the rollout of the new technology.
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In October , BT Group announced that it had been phasing out Huawei equipment from "core" components of its wireless infrastructure excluding parts such as phone mast antennas , including its 5G services,  and the Emergency Services Network project.
In December , Gavin Williamson , the UK's Defence Secretary, expressed "grave" and "very deep concerns" about the company providing technology to upgrade Britain's services to 5G. He accused Beijing of acting "sometimes in a malign way". Alex Younger , the head of MI6 , also raised questions about Huawei's role. On 11 January , Poland announced that two people working on a 5G Huawei network had been arrested: Wang Weijing a Huawei executive , and Piotr Durbaglo, a consultant having worked for Polish domestic security, but currently working for Orange on 5G network testing.
In , German cybersecurity company G Data alleged that phones from Huawei and several other Chinese manufacturers had been shipped with malware via infected versions of legitimate apps, that could record phone calls, access user data, and send premium SMS messages. A Huawei spokesperson told G Data these breaches were likely to have taken place further down the supply chain, outside the manufacturing process. On 14 February , heads of six U. Christopher A. Wray , director of the FBI , stated that they were "deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don't share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks".
Huawei responded to the allegations, arguing that its products "[pose] no greater cybersecurity risk than any ICT vendor, sharing as we do common global supply chains and production capabilities," and that it was "aware of a range of U. In May a Huawei Mediapad M5 belonging to a Canadian IT engineer living in Taiwan was found to be sending data to servers in China despite never being authorized to do so. The apps could not be disabled and continued to send sensitive data even after appearing to be deleted.
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In July , Felix Lindner and Gregor Kopf gave a conference at Defcon to announce that they uncovered several critical vulnerabilities in Huawei routers models AR18 and AR29  which could be used to get remote access to the device. The researchers said that Huawei "doesn't have a security contact for reporting vulnerabilities, doesn't put out security advisories and doesn't say what bugs have been fixed in its firmware updates", and as a result, the vulnerabilities have not been publicly disclosed.
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Huawei replied that they were investigating the claims. In January , Huawei patched a security flaw that was discovered by Microsoft in the "PCManager" software bundled on its laptops, after detecting that the software used a driver with behavior similar to the DoublePulsar exploit. In October a person named John Wu presented details regarding Huawei's Undocumented APIs  which can poses security risk for Huawei clients for example it let apps with Admin privileges install new system apps on the Mate Those permissions are used by the "LZPlay" app to install the Google framework and services.
Huawei has denied any involvement with the app or the "LZPlay" site. On February , The Wall Street Journal reported that Huawei has had the ability to covertly exploit backdoors intended for law enforcement officials since These backdoors are found on carrier equipment like antennas and routers.