News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Build Apps 5x Faster
For Half the Cost
Enterprise Cloud Computing

On Force.com
You are here: Home / Network Security / Sprint Agrees To Shun Huawei Gear
DDoS Protection Powered By Verisign
Sprint, Seeking OK on Merger, Agrees To Shun Huawei Gear
Sprint, Seeking OK on Merger, Agrees To Shun Huawei Gear
By Jennifer LeClaire / NewsFactor Network Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
MARCH
29
2013


Sprint and Softbank, the company planning to acquire the third-largest U.S. carrier, are committed to meeting national security concerns to make their merger a reality. The companies made it clear to Washington that they will no longer purchase or use equipment the Chinese telecom giant manufactures.

According to The New York Times, Sprint-Softbank's agreement with the U.S. government would allow national security officials to monitor changes to the company's system of routers, servers, and switches, among other equipment and processes. Softbank has offered $20 billion to acquire most of Sprint but needs U.S. government approval.

"I have met with Softbank and Sprint regarding this merger and was assured they would not integrate Huawei in to the Sprint network and would take mitigation efforts to replace Huawei equipment in the Clearwire network," said Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. "I expect them to make the same assurances before any approval of the deal in the CFIUS process."

CFIUS is the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a federal government inter-agency panel that reviews the national security implications of foreign investment in the U.S.

Spying on U.S. Communications

What's the problem with Huawei? Last October, a House Intelligence Committee report warned that buying Huawei Technologies products poses a security risk to the nation. Huawei vehemently opposed the allegations, which include visa fraud and job bias. The report also called out ZTE, another Chinese telecom firm.

The overarching allegation is that China could use equipment these companies manufacture to spy on U.S. communications systems and threaten U.S. technology infrastructure. Some U.S. analysts are saying the report is steeped in protectionism and neither China nor Huawei is taking the report lying down.

Although the House investigation concluded there are "credible reports" of Huawei's illegal behavior, there is no conclusive evidence that either Huawei or ZTE are installing telecom equipment with hidden codes to transmit information back to China. But with the recent back-and-forthing between the U.S. and China government over cyber-security, the issue remains at the fore.

Is the Threat Real?

Paul Henry, a security and forensic analyst at Lumension, told us not to be mistaken -- there is danger here.

"This isn't a case of the government being overly paranoid, though I might also argue that there is no such thing when it comes to cyber-security," Henry said. "It is very possible that back doors are being built into the hardware shipped by the Chinese."

As Henry sees it, the real danger here is that if Chinese companies, deliberately or not, are leaving easy back doors into their products, then malware could be executed at the firmware and peripheral level.

"What that boils down to is a piece of malware executed at a level below the operating system, where it is virtually undetectable by just about every cyber-security product on the market today," Henry said.

"There is some amount of doubt in the security community about whether this sort of attack is even practically possible, but I assure you, it is. It was demonstrated in two proof-of-concept rootkits, Red Pill and Blue Pill, by Joanna Rutkowska at Black Hat in 2006. There is a real danger here that everyone -- not just the government -- should be considering when purchasing IT equipment manufactured overseas."

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
TOP STORIES NOW
MAY BE OF INTEREST
Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.
MORE IN NETWORK SECURITY
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Are Government Spies Tipping Off Tor?
Less than a month ago, tech news headlines heralded a Tor Project breach. Now, some are saying that government spies are sharing information with Tor to help it prevent future breaches.
 
Backoff Malware Hits 1,000+ Businesses, Likely More
More than 1,000 businesses across the U.S. might have been affected by Backoff, a new kind of point-of-sale (PoS) malware, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
 
PlayStation Network Back Online After Attack
Sony’s PlayStation and Entertainment Network are back online after a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack crashed the systems on Sunday. But Sony says no personal info was accessed.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Alert: HP Recalls 5 Million Notebook AC Power Cords
HP is recalling about 5.6 million notebook computer AC power cords in the U.S. and another 446,700 in Canada because of possible overheating, which can pose a fire and burn hazard.
 
Acer's New Desktop Box Rides the Chrome OS Wave
Filling out its Chrome OS line, Acer is following the introduction of a larger Chromebook line earlier this month with a new tiny $180 desktop Chromebox and also a smaller Chromebook.
 
Feds OK $2.3 Billion IBM-Lenovo x86 Server Deal
IBM and Lenovo are celebrating U.S. approval of their x86-based server deal, having cleared some major security hurdles. The deal makes Lenovo a major player for enterprise data centers.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Verizon Hops on the Voice-Over-LTE Bandwagon
Wireless provider Verizon is gearing up for a nationwide launch of its Voice-over-LTE service over the next several weeks, promising clearer and crisper phone calls and a Skype-like video service.
 
Smartphone 'Kill Switch' Law in California; Will Other States Follow?
California’s new law -- signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday -- aimed at deterring cellphone theft could mean most mobile phones sold in the U.S. will soon include similar “kill-switch” tech.
 
Apple To Replace 'Small Percentage' of iPhone 5 Batteries
If you've noticed your iPhone 5 isn't acting right, it might be because of a bad battery -- and you might be eligible for a replacement. Apple is offering new batteries, though only for a small percentage of users.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.