A day after it was announced that the UK government will investigate the employees at the Huawei’s Cyber Security Evaluation Center located in Banbury, Oxfordshire, retired US general and former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden has said the US intelligence agencies have proof that the company has been aiding cyber espionage efforts of the Chinese government.
The investigation into Huawei’s UK-based research center follows the recommendation by the UK Intelligence and Security Committee, which recently stated that the country had left itself vulnerable to cyber espionage and attacks because UK telecoms rely so heavily on Huawei’s products.
Even though the government has claimed that security procedures were put in place to prevent such a vulnerable state, it has nevertheless agreed to review the workings of the company’s Cyber Security Evaluation Center (also known as “The Cell’).
The ISC also recommended that the staff in the center be replaced with government security staff, even though all the 22 employees are UK nationals, ex-Government employees, industry experts or recent graduates. It’s obvious they don’t consider them impartial when it comes to testing the company’s technologies for security flaws.
Since the US House of Representatives’ Permanent Committee on Intelligence issued a report claiming that the company was involved in China-sponsored espionage and advising firms and governments against buying their and ZTE’s solutions, some of its agencies have been slowly removing the company’s technology from federal systems.
Australia followed suit by deciding that Huawei will be barred from competing for lucrative national contracts.
In the meantime, former NSA and CIA director General Michael Hayden has reiterated the claims made in the US report, saying that US intelligence agencies have evidence about Huawei’s involvement in spying on behalf of the Chinese government.
The company’s spokesman for Australia has replied by saying that “ff the evidence is out there people have a right to see it, our staff have a right to see it and so far no one seems to have come in with that evidence,” and added that it’s time for the accusers to “put up or shut up”.
He also pointed out that Hayden is hardly a credible source, seeing as he is on the board of Motorola, a Huawei competitor.