Briefing: Backdoors found in Huawei equipment, says Europe’s top carrier
Apr 30, 2019
What happened: Vodafone Group Plc, Europe’s biggest phone company, said it found hidden backdoors going back years in the software of internet routers supplied by Huawei for the carrier’s Italian business. Vodafone asked Huawei to remove those backdoors in 2011, and the supplier later replied that the issues were fixed. However, further testing showed that the security vulnerabilities remained. Vodafone also said backdoors were identified in other network parts supplied by Huawei. The carrier said the problems have now been resolved. There was no evidence of any data being compromised, said Vodafone.
Why it’s important: Vodafone’s reports of backdoors found in Huawei equipment support allegations made by the US that Huawei’s equipment is vulnerable to exploitation, particularly by the Chinese government. But Vodafone also said that it was not uncommon for vulnerabilities in equipment from suppliers to be identified by operators and other third parties in the telecom industry. The London-based carrier stated in March that a complete ban on using Huawei equipment would be seriously damaging to the UK’s 5G future.