According to the annual report published by the Huawei’s Cyber Security Evaluation Centre Oversight Board, the British intelligence in 2019 forced Huawei Technologies to fix flaws in the company’s equipment after it discovered vulnerabilities that could have compromised the security of UK’s telecom companies.
British intelligence discovered critical user-facing vulnerabilities in the fixed broadband products of the Chinese telecom giant, resulting from poor code quality and an old operating system.
Following the discovery, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre examined the hardware and software of the Shenzhen-based technology giant. No exploitation of the vulnerabilities was detected during the examination.
Although Huawei fixed the security flaws, it resulted in another major issue.
The report states:
The incident was further evidence that deficiencies in Huawei’s engineering processes remain.
Moreover, British intelligence has ruled out the Chinese government’s involvement in the vulnerabilities it discovered.
However, the British government has started a review of Huawei Technologies’ role in supplying fixed-broadband infrastructure in the kingdom.
The report by Huawei’s oversight board comes less than two months after the British government decided to bar UK’s telcos from procuring 5G equipment from the Shenzhen-based technology giant after 31 December 2020.
Earlier this year in January, the British government had initially allowed telcos to use Huawei’s 5G infrastructure with certain limitations.
Moreover, the government has also planned to remove Huawei’s hardware from the kingdom by 2027.
Bob Seely, a British lawmaker and a member of the ruling Conservative party who has been actively advocating against Huawei, has once again called for tighter restrictions on the Chinese telecom giant.
This is a poor state of affairs, especially as the Huawei kit will remain in UK networks and may even be added to it, despite the ban.
A spokesperson for Huawei, while speaking on the report, said the company is the only one that faces such scrutiny.
Huawei calls for all vendors to be evaluated against an equally robust benchmark, to improve security standards for everyone.