Huawei offers Australia its source code, wants rivals to do it too

Huawei says it will allow "unrestricted access" to its software source code by "security cleared" Australians in a bid to dispel national security fears, but the Chinese networking giant wants all rivals to be subjected to the same tests.

The conditional offer comes as fears persist amongst Western governments over potential for Huawei's equipment to threaten to national security and follows Huawei's exclusion earlier this year from bidding for equipment tenders to Australia's NBN.

Huawei's offer of “complete and unrestricted access” to its equipment also follows the more recent release of the Intelligence Committee of the US Senate House of Representatives report that urged US organisations not to trust equipment from Huawei or ZTE.

Huawei’s offer of unfettered access to its software however hinges on a number of factors.

Chairman of Huawei’s Australian operation, John Lord, on Wednesday proposed a “national security evaluation centre” that would be operated by “security cleared Australians” in a similar fashion to one that Huawei opened in the UK in 2010.

The UK facility is overseen by a department of the UK’s intelligence agency GCHQ and is used to vet equipment the company supplies to BT, which is leading the UK's national fibre roll out.

Lord said the Australian facility should require equipment from all vendors, including those that have not been blacklisted from the NBN, be subjected to the same tests and that the industry jointly funds the facility.

“Huawei is willing to offer complete and unrestricted access to our software source code in such an environment. And in the interests of national security, we believe all vendors should be subjected to the same high standard of transparency,” Lord told the National Press Club on Wednesday.

Lord said Huawei had not yet discussed the proposal with its rivals, however pointed to the UK facility as evidence that government-led testing there was proof its equipment was not a threat.

“If the British security agencies had any issue with our equipment or our software, it would not be allowed in to the British NBN. And the proof is in the pudding,” said Lord.

Despite its long standing relationship, the recent concerns raised in the US have triggered an intelligence committee investigation in the UK into Huawei’s commercial relationship with BT since 2005.

Follow @CSO_Australia and sign up to the CSO Australia newsletter.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Huaweisoftware source code

More about BT AustralasiaCSOGCHQHuaweiZTE

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Liam Tung

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place