China's Huawei responds to US hackers

August 1, 2012
File photo of the headquarters of Chinese telecom giant Huawei in Shenzhen, China. Huawei Technologies has responded to US hackers' claims that its routers were easily cracked, saying its security strategies were rigorous.

Chinese communications giant Huawei Technologies on Wednesday responded to US hackers' claims that its routers were easily cracked, saying its security strategies were rigorous.

The annual Def Con hackers' convention in Las Vegas on the weekend was shown how to slip into networks through some Huawei routers, which Recurity Labs chief Felix "FX" Lindner described as a "gift" to the hacker community.

Huawei routers, equipment that connects networks to the Internet, are widely used in Asia, Africa and the Middle East and the company has been striving to gain ground in US and European markets, according to Germany-based Recurity.

Lindner and his teammate Gregor Kopf said they were troubled that Huawei had not issued advisories about its routers to warn users to take precautions.

"These machines have serious security issues," Kopf told AFP. "In my eyes, the greatest danger is that you don't know how vulnerable it is; you're left in the dark."

Visitors gather at the Huawei both during the CommunicAsia telecom expo and conference in Singapore in June 2012. The Chinese firm was recently blocked from bidding for contracts on Australia's national broadband project, reportedly due to concerns about cyber-security.

Kopf said that once attackers slipped through the routers they could potentially run amok in networks.

In response, Huawei issued a statement to AFP saying it was aware of "media reports on in some small Huawei routers" and was trying to verify the claims.

"Huawei adopts rigorous security strategies and policies to protect the network security of our customers, and abides by industry standards and best practices in and incident management," it said.

The company said it had a "robust response system to address product and vulnerabilities".

Huawei, founded by a former People's Liberation Army engineer, has established itself as a major force in the global where its technology is widely used to build .

But it is also battling an image problem in the broader technology market due to its perceived close ties with the Chinese state.

It has recently been blocked from bidding for contracts on Australia's national broadband project, reportedly due to concerns about cyber-security.

The company has in the past also run afoul of US regulators and lawmakers because of worries over its links with the Chinese military -- fears that Huawei has dismissed.

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