All governments hack secret data, Huawei says

May 29, 2013
The Chinese tech giant Huawei building in Shenzhen on April 7, 2013. Using the Internet to spy and steal sensitive data is standard practice by all countries, according to the security chief of controversial Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.

Using the Internet to spy and steal sensitive data is standard practice by all countries, according to the security chief of controversial Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.

The comments published Wednesday follow allegations that Chinese hackers gained access to secret designs for a slew of sophisticated US weapons programmes, and stole the blueprints for Australia's new headquarters.

John Suffolk, a former with the British government and now head of security operations at Huawei, said he was not surprised by claims of international hacking.

"Governments have always done that," he told the Australian Financial Review, adding that the "harsh reality is every government around the world has a similar strap-line for their security agencies".

"Some people say that spying is the second-oldest profession, where people have tried to get information off us for somebody else, so I don't think anyone is surprised that any government around the world is trying to find out what other governments around the world are doing.

"Governments have to really focus on what quiet steps they're going to take, accepting no government will really trust 100 percent another government, regardless of the laws, the policies and procedures," he added.

Confirming a story, US officials said Tuesday that Chinese hackers had breached networks containing designs for an array of advanced US weapons projects, from stealth- to missile .

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation said documents taken in a cyber hit on the spy headquarters included cable layouts for the security and communications systems, its floor plan and its server locations.

Beijing has yet to comment on the latest US claims, but called the ABC accusations groundless.

Huawei has been at the centre of cyber-espionage concerns itself, with the last year raising fears that its ties with Beijing meant supplied by the company could be used for spying.

Congress called for its exclusion from US government contracts and acquisitions.

Australia has also barred the firm from involvement in its new national broadband network because of security concerns.

Suffolk said Huawei was a "piggy in the middle" of the broader dispute over hacking between China and the United States.

Explore further: Huawei calls for cybersecurity cooperation

Related Stories

Huawei calls for cybersecurity cooperation

September 5, 2012

(AP)—Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei Technologies has released a report on cybersecurity that includes a pledge never to cooperate with spying in a fresh effort to allay security concerns in the United States and ...

Huawei: Australia law could exclude China firms

September 14, 2012

(AP)—An official of Chinese telecoms equipment giant Huawei Technologies said Friday he is concerned that new Australian laws to protect communication networks from cyber-attacks could exclude companies from tendering for ...

China rejects US claims over telecom firms

October 10, 2012

A US Congressional report that warns two Chinese telecom companies pose a national security risk and should face restrictions in the US market is "groundless", China has said.

Recommended for you

Interactive tool lifts veil on the cost of nuclear energy

August 24, 2015

Despite the ever-changing landscape of energy economics, subject to the influence of new technologies and geopolitics, a new tool promises to root discussions about the cost of nuclear energy in hard evidence rather than ...

Smart home heating and cooling

August 28, 2015

Smart temperature-control devices—such as thermostats that learn and adjust to pre-programmed temperatures—are poised to increase comfort and save energy in homes.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.