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Vodafone acknowledges hidden backdoors in Huawei’s equipment it found a decade ago

Vodafone acknowledges hidden backdoors in Huawei’s equipment it found a decade ago
  • The British telecom conglomerate disclosed that the equipment supplied by Huawei for its Italian business had security vulnerabilities.
  • The incident is said to have occurred between 2009 and 2011. However, Vodafone has said that the issue was resolved at that time.

Telecom giant Vodafone has spilled the beans on a security lapse by Huawei that happened years ago. Apparently, it has told Bloomberg that Huawei had hidden backdoors in the software for its equipment. The Chinese electronics manufacturer had supplied telecom equipment to Vodafone for the latter’s Italian operations.

A closer look

  • Bloomberg reported that the security documents shown by Vodafone mentioned the backdoor vulnerabilities in Huawei’s equipment. The documents were from 2009 to 2011.
  • The backdoors could have allowed unauthorized access to Vodafone’s fixed-line network in Italy.
  • Upon discovery, Vodafone had asked Huawei to remove the backdoors on home internet routers in 2011. The latter agreed to resolve the issues in these devices.
  • However, further analysis revealed that the backdoor vulnerabilities were still present in these routers.
  • In addition, Vodafone found backdoors in optical service nodes and broadband network gateways furnished by Huawei.

Huawei calls it an industry-wide challenge

Responding to the Bloomberg report, Huawei told that the vulnerabilities as an industry-wide challenge. “Like every ICT vendor we have a well-established public notification and patching process, and when a vulnerability is identified we work closely with our partners to take the appropriate corrective action,” it said in a statement.

The company is already facing criticism in Western markets such as the US over fears of China spying on communications.

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