The article originally published in the MIT Technology Review
5. Why is Huawei’s 5G causing so much concern?
As the world’s biggest supplier of networking equipment and second-largest smartphone maker, Huawei is in a prime position to snatch the lion’s share of a 5G market that, by some estimates, could be worth $123 billion in five years’ time.
Stalling the company’s expansion into Western markets could have the convenient side effect of letting competitors catch up. But there are also legitimate security concerns surrounding 5G — and reasons to think it could be problematic for one company to dominate the space.
The US government appears to have decided that it’s simply too risky for a Chinese company to control too much 5G infrastructure.
The focus on Huawei makes sense given the importance of 5G, the new complexity and security challenges, and the fact that the Chinese company is poised to be such a huge player. And given the way Chinese companies are answerable to the government, Huawei’s apparent connections with the Chinese military and its cyber operations, and the tightening ties between private industry and the state, this seems a legitimate consideration.
But the ongoing fight with Huawei also goes to show how vital new technology is to the future of global competition, economic might, and even international security.
Full Article is HERE.
I think the problem is more complicated than described above. China makes its integrated circuit chips and it would be possible to create a 5G chip with an embedded hardware routine that lays dormant until it is turned on. Once turned on the chip routes key messages to China servers controlled by the Army Intelligence Corp. Those chips with the dormant hardware could be in all Huawei 5G routers. On multi-layer chips, it might be impossible to find by visible inspection and unless turned on would not show in the message traffic. These chips could be turned on/off at strategically important times, make them even harder to detect. An additional problem is that many chips are designed in the US but manufacture overseas. An opportunity for more intelligence collection skulduggery. I do not know if a US chip designer could recognize that the manufacturer added an embedded hardware routing routine to his or her design.
The solution is to use 5G routers with US certified chips, produced under US control.