Australia has become the latest country to express concern about security risks posed by Huawei equipment, joining the UK, US and India.
Security experts warn that Australia will leave itself vulnerable to cyber crime if it deploys the Chinese firm’s equipment in its national next-generation network, saying the kit could contain secret entrances to the network, and that the government should reject it even if it passes muster in close inspections.
They are worried by Huawei’s alleged links with the Chinese military, as the firm reportedly prepares bids for a significant chunk of Australia’s NBN next generation contracts, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Desmond Ball, an intelligence professor with the Australia National University, said Huawei’s equipment would be the weakest link in the A$43 billion NBN project, and warranted more attention in security debates.
His view was echoed by Alan Dupont, director of security studies at the University of Sydney, who told the newspaper more discussion was needed about how Huawei’s kit might affect the security of a “critical piece of infrastructure.”
Huawei is coming under greater scrutiny around the world, despite repeatedly denying any links with China’s government.
The Wall St Journal said the firm’s attempt to supply US carrier Sprint Nextel should be closely scrutinized, noting. “A functional, reliable, resilient telecommunications network is a fundamental American national interest.”
Huawei unveiled a three point security plan last month in a bid to quell concerns in the US, UK, and India.