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: China steals new Australia spy agency blueprints, report says

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Huawei: Australia law could exclude China firms

Sep 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 ...

Huawei calls for cybersecurity cooperation

Sep 05, 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 ...

China rejects US claims over telecom firms

Oct 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

White House updating online privacy policy

3 hours ago

A new Obama administration privacy policy out Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites. It also clarifies that ...

Net neutrality balancing act

22 hours ago

Researchers in Italy, writing in the International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management have demonstrated that net neutrality benefits content creator and consumers without compromising provider innovation nor pr ...

Twitter rules out Turkey office amid tax row

Apr 16, 2014

Social networking company Twitter on Wednesday rejected demands from the Turkish government to open an office there, following accusations of tax evasion and a two-week ban on the service.

How does false information spread online?

Apr 16, 2014

Last summer the World Economic Forum (WEF) invited its 1,500 council members to identify top trends facing the world, including what should be done about them. The WEF consists of 80 councils covering a wide range of issues including social media. Members come ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Venture investments jump to $9.5B in 1Q

Funding for U.S. startup companies soared 57 percent in the first quarter to a level not seen since 2001, as venture capitalists piled more money into an increasing number of deals, according to a report due out Friday.

White House updating online privacy policy

A new Obama administration privacy policy out Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites. It also clarifies that ...

Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

(Phys.org) —The incident was captured by Dr Bruna Bezerra and colleagues in the Atlantic Forest in the Northeast of Brazil.  Dr Bezerra is a Research Associate at the University of Bristol and a Professor ...

Scientists tether lionfish to Cayman reefs

Research done by U.S. scientists in the Cayman Islands suggests that native predators can be trained to gobble up invasive lionfish that colonize regional reefs and voraciously prey on juvenile marine creatures.