Rumoured Chinese Computer Espionage To Be Analysed By Cyber Chiefs

As cyber strategists and policy makers prepare to assemble in London in January, one leading expert has spoken out on the ongoing allegations of vulnerabilities in Chinese-made computer hardware.
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Oct. 4, 2012 - PRLog -- At a US hearing in September, two Chinese telecoms firms formally denied allegations that their products are being built for purposes of espionage.

Shenzhen-based Huawei and ZTE stated before the committee that the ‘backdoors’ believed to be built into some of the technology are merely ‘software bugs’ and that neither company is controlled by the Chinese government.

Lt Col (Rtd) William Hagestad, former US Marine and author of ‘21st Century Chinese Cyber Warfare’, has spent several years flagging this type of vulnerability to the digital security world, but many had previously not considered the idea to be a genuine threat.

Asked in an interview with Defence IQ about the recent developments that are finally bringing the issue to the attention of the wider public, Hagestad replied: ‘I wish I had been wrong.’

Listen to the interview here:

‘These are actual, no-kidding compromises to the hardware and software of the telecommunications manufacturers,' he said.

'Now whether they are overt, covert or unknown is irrelevant – the fact that they exist… is a concern not only commercially but also to the national security of the countries that are using them.’

Hagestad was speaking ahead of his involvement in the annual Cyber Defence & Network Security (CDANS) conference, set to take place in London from January 24–27, which bring together the world’s defence chiefs and heads of CERT, systems security, military IT, counterterrorism, and cybercrime professionals. Last year’s BBC-covered event hosted over 150 attendees and over 25 speakers from 24 nations.

This year, much of the focus will rest on dealing with the ongoing threat to critical national infrastructure and cloud computing, but there will also be inevitable discussion on the potential of the use of cyber weapons and foreign state responses to the evolving cyber domain.

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