Huawei Denies Ex-CIA Chief’s China Spying Claims

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Huawei again has to bat off claims it is working with Chinese spies

Huawei has rejected claims from an ex-CIA chief that the networking giant spied on the behalf of the Chinese government on.

Michael Hayden, who is also the former head of the US National Security Agency (NSA), said he knew of evidence Huawei had spied for China, sharing “intimate and extensive knowledge of the foreign telecommunications systems it is involved with”.

“I think that goes without saying – it’s one reality,” he added.

Huawei defends itself again

huawei-logoIn his interview with the Australian Financial Review paper, Hayden did not detail the evidence. And Huawei has been quick to deny any spying – something it has done numerous times before.

The world’s second largest telecoms equipment manufacturer said the claims were “defamatory”.

Huawei’s global cyber security officer, John Suffolk,  formerly CIO for the UK government, told the paper anyone who suggested the company was helping Chinese espionagey should produce the evidence.

“It’s time to put up or shut up,” he added.

Huawei has repeatedly had to bat away claims it is colluding with the Chinese Politburo. The US government is particularly wary of Huawei, with Congressmen advising no organisations to run Huawei kit.

In the UK, the government confirmed yesterday it would be reviewing a “Cell” in Banbury used to test the company’s networking machines to check for potential backdoors that could allow external access.

Concerns had been raised by the Intelligence and Security Committee that the centre was run entirely by Huawei employees.

What do you know about China and its tech? Try our quiz!