Huawei has been in trouble over the past few months, ever since the United States accused it of being a spying vehicle for the Chinese state and then banned it from supplying telecom equipment to companies in the country. However, that was not all. The authorities in the US went on to alert key allies about it and urged them not to allow the Chinese tech giant to supply telecom equipment for their networks either. Australia and New Zealand are among the countries that banned it straight away, but the United Kingdom allowed the company to build its 5G networks last week.
Amidst all that, a new issue has emerged, and that revolves around a report which states that UK-based telecom operator Vodafone’s networks in Italy had been compromised back in the years 2011 and 2012. The primary supplier for the telecom equipment was Huawei, and it is believed that the Chinese telecom equipment giant might have been able to spy on Italian citizens had they wanted to.
That being said, Vodafone has flatly denied the premise of that report that was first reported by Bloomberg. The company states that the issue is about Telnet, which is a widely used protocol by a range of telecom companies and went on to state that it was wrong on the part of Bloomberg to state that it could have been given Huawei access. Vodafone released a statement in which it stated, “The ‘backdoor’ that Bloomberg refers to is Telnet, which is a protocol that is commonly used by many vendors in the industry for performing diagnostic functions. It would not have been accessible from the internet. Bloomberg is incorrect in saying that this ‘could have given Huawei unauthorized access to the carrier’s fixed-line network in Italy.’”
In the same statement, Vodafone went on to state that no one actually got any unauthorized access despite the security risk and it appears that the company has completely rubbished the report. The company also stated that third-party firms tested the network for possible vulnerabilities and any issues found were then swiftly taken care of by Huawei. The company added that the independent security audit was part of routine efforts by the company. A spokesperson for Huawei commented on the issue as well and stated that the company was told about the issues that were raised and all the security problems were corrected at the time.