US saves self from Huawei spying by spying on Huawei spying

Snowdenistas say NSA hacked Chinese company, accessed source code


Maybe this is why the US government is so certain Huawei is bad news: Snowdenistas at The New York Times and Der Spiegel have reported another communiqué from their source-in-exile – this time to the effect that the United States National Security Agency penetrated Chinese networking equipment vendor Huawei and monitored its communications.

The reports suggest an operation called “Shotgiant” tried to access Huawei source code with the intention of installing back doors the NSA could use.

Putting back doors in place was seen as a good idea because some NSA targets used Huawei kit. NSA officials also liked the idea of a back door as a way to determine if Huawei kit was sending any information back to China.

The NSA's attacks on Huawei are reported to have also yielded a tap on communications among senior executives.

The USA and Australia have restricted Huawei's ability to trade in their nations on the basis that the company represents a threat to national security. While the nature of that threat has never been detailed, if Snowden's latest leak is correct and being understood in the correct context we can at least see how the two nations might have reached the decision to make life hard for Huawei.

That the USA seems to have decided the best way to protect itself from the threat of state surveillance posed by Huawei by using state surveillance to compromise Huawei is, however, a rich irony. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Beijing probes security at academic journal database
    It's easy to see why – the question is, why now?

    China's internet regulator has launched an investigation into the security regime protecting academic journal database China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), citing national security concerns.

    In its announcement of the investigation, the China Cyberspace Administration (CAC) said:

    Continue reading
  • Xi Jinping himself weighs in on how Big Tech should deploy FinTech
    Beijing also outlines its GovTech vision and gets very excited about data

    China's government has outlined its vision for digital services, expected behavior standards at China's big tech companies, and how China will put data to work everywhere – with president Xi Jinping putting his imprimatur to some of the policies.

    Xi's remarks were made in his role as director of China’s Central Comprehensively Deepening Reforms Commission, which met earlier this week. The subsequent communiqué states that at the meeting Xi called for "financial technology platform enterprises to return to their core business" and "support platform enterprises in playing a bigger role in serving the real economy and smoothing positive interplay between domestic and international economic flows."

    The remarks outline an attempt to balance Big Tech's desire to create disruptive financial products that challenge monopolies, against efforts to ensure that only licensed and regulated entities offer financial services.

    Continue reading
  • China is trolling rare-earth miners online and the Pentagon isn't happy
    Beijing-linked Dragonbridge flames biz building Texas plant for Uncle Sam

    The US Department of Defense said it's investigating Chinese disinformation campaigns against rare earth mining and processing companies — including one targeting Lynas Rare Earths, which has a $30 million contract with the Pentagon to build a plant in Texas.

    Earlier today, Mandiant published research that analyzed a Beijing-linked influence operation, dubbed Dragonbridge, that used thousands of fake accounts across dozens of social media platforms, including Facebook, TikTok and Twitter, to spread misinformation about rare earth companies seeking to expand production in the US to the detriment of China, which wants to maintain its global dominance in that industry. 

    "The Department of Defense is aware of the recent disinformation campaign, first reported by Mandiant, against Lynas Rare Earth Ltd., a rare earth element firm seeking to establish production capacity in the United States and partner nations, as well as other rare earth mining companies," according to a statement by Uncle Sam. "The department has engaged the relevant interagency stakeholders and partner nations to assist in reviewing the matter.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022