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New York Times: NSA involved in ongoing hack against Huawei

updated 09:46 am EDT, Mon March 24, 2014

Huawei servers allegedly penetrated by NSA, possibility of hardware compromise

In an interesting reversal, Snowden-leaked documents are pointing to a pervasive infiltration of Chinese electronics manufacturer Huawei's servers. The NSA's "Operation Shotgiant" allegedly probed connections between Huawei and the Chinese army, but also aimed to attack technology manufactured by the company and use the compromised technology for worldwide surveillance.

The New York Times and Germany-based Der Spiegel evaluated the NSA documents and disclosed the potential hacks undertaken by the NSA. Huawei's Global Security Officer John Suffolk slammed the NSA and the report, saying that "if the actions in the report are true, Huawei condemns such activities that invaded and infiltrated into our internal corporate network and monitored our communications." Suffolk noted that "corporate networks are under constant probe and attack from different sources -- such is the status quo in today's digital age."

The leaked documents purport that the NSA had access to Huawei servers in the company's headquarters. Documents copied by the NSA included a database of 1,400 clients, as well as a large assortment of internal training documentation.

Speaking of the NSA hack and previous allegations that Huawei was engaged in similar activities with its hardware against US interests, Suffolk said that ""I can't say what American firms do. We have never been asked to hand over any data to a government or authority, or to facilitate access to our technology, and we wouldn't do this either. Our position on this point is very clear."

A draft report Congress debated in October of 2012 suggested that Huawei and rival ZTE should be locked out of the US market over security concerns. The US House of Representatives' Intelligence Committee argued that the two companies were subject to the influence of the Chinese government. The committee believed, and continues to claim, that it is in the best interests of US firms to avoid purchasing products from either Huawei or ZTE.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. TheGreatButcher

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 06-11-00

    This is where Snowden is not a hero. This is part of the NSA's mandate and has nothing to do with domestic privacy issues.

  1. coffeetime

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 11-15-06

    Russian upcoming agenda:

    - Invade Crimea...... checked

    - Having Snowden stirs up troubles among NSA and other countries or else....... work in progress

  1. chimaera

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 04-08-07

    Looks more like industrial espionage, which the NSA has long denied doing. The initial penetration, looking for military connections does sound legit. But they didn't find anything. So they [s]withdrew[/s] ... compromised the Huawei gear as much as possible, didn't notify them of the unpatched bugs, and banked the technique for spying on anyone who buys Huawei gear. This makes the internet less secure.

    Oh, and Snowden did not publish this. He provided docs to journalists, who researched them and wrote stories as appropriate. Greenwald explains the procedure. They also routinely run stories past the government for security concerns before publication, and withhold info when there is a real objection. Apparently the government couldn't provide a convincing reason to keep this quiet.

    I'm sticking with the hero designation. And there is more than domestic privacy issues at stake. Civilians in the rest of the world are human beings too. They have rights, including an expectation of privacy.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    I'm with chimaera on this. The drive to make Snowden out as a criminal really does nothing for the citizens of the US, and has more to do with the threat to anyone exposing US Government shenanigans.

  1. The Vicar

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-01-09

    Trying to make Snowden a criminal is also changing the subject. We really ought to be more concerned with the stuff he revealed — some of which is definitely criminal, and much more of which is only not criminal by extreme technicalities, all of which is incredibly bad for everyone in the entire world, including U.S. citizens, who own computers. The drive to change the conversation from "what the U.S. government is doing" to "look at Snowden" is something which is shameful. TheGreatButcher and coffeetime are fools for entertaining it at all.

  1. coffeetime

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 11-15-06

    Funny how Snowden continuously criticizes U.S. government but yet not a single word about Russian invasion while he's living there. Gee, I wonder why. Does he miss the freedom that this country offers? I bet. We are taking our lives totally for granted (including Snowden) not knowing every second our butts are being safe from terrorist attacks. We are at war with terrorist every day here in this homeland and so far U.S. government had done a darn good job protecting us all (except they missed the Boston one). Boston won't be the first the last one and there are many other targets that we will never hear it from CNN. Let's hope that our government does a better job this time and not miss any of them. I really feel bad for Snowden that he's stuck in Russia. I really do.

  1. Mike Wuerthele

    Managing Editor

    Joined: 07-19-12

    Originally Posted by The VicarView Post

    Trying to make Snowden a criminal is also changing the subject. We really ought to be more concerned with the stuff he revealed — some of which is definitely criminal, and much more of which is only not criminal by extreme technicalities, all of which is incredibly bad for everyone in the entire world, including U.S. citizens, who own computers. The drive to change the conversation from "what the U.S. government is doing" to "look at Snowden" is something which is shameful. TheGreatButcher and coffeetime are fools for entertaining it at all.



    While I applaud the leaks (or whatever you want to call them, given the other thread on this), it's not changing the subject to call Snowden a criminal. He broke the law, and that's indisputable. Not acknowledging this just omits a fact.

    What the NSA did isn't criminal, but it is extremely morally questionable, and undeniably bad for the world, and for the Internet as an "entity" for lack of a better word. I still remain glad that he did it, and I'm glad I'm not in his shoes.

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