Chris Bush, a spokesman for the U.S. Forces Korea said the command is concerned that a deal between China’s Huawei Technologies, Inc. and the South Korean company LG could undermine operational security.
“Telecommunications equipment is inherently vulnerable to a multitude of threats, from interception and monitoring to malicious software and applications, regardless of service provider,” Bush told the Washington Free Beacon when asked about security concerns related to the Huawei-LG deal.
A former senior Obama administration official said he is very concerned that the use of Huawei equipment in a nationwide telecommunications system on the peninsula ultimately will be used for espionage during both peacetime and sabotage in a conflict.
“Huawei is an arm of the Chinese government,” the former official said of the controversial equipment manufacturer that has been blocked several times from purchasing U.S. companies. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the evidence against Huawei.
Huawei was blocked from buying or sharing ownership with three U.S. telecommunications firms since the mid-2000s over U.S. intelligence concerns about the company’s links to the Chinese military and intelligence services.
Huawei equipment also was banned by Australia’s government and in Britain the company’s equipment is routinely checked for cyber spying capabilities.
Huawei equipment, including computer routers and other network electronics, is suspected of containing hidden “back doors” that allow remote access to telecommunications. With such access, an adversary in a time of crisis or conflict could carry out devastating cyber attacks to disable communications, or intercept them.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Mich.), whose panel has investigated Huawei, also warned of the dangers of the Huawei-LG deal.
“Allowing Huawei equipment into South Korea’s advanced wireless network could create dangerous operational security vulnerabilities for the U.S. and South Korean military and government personnel who will inevitably use this network,” Rogers told the Free Beacon in February.
“This equipment could also pose a risk to the South Korean critical infrastructure we would depend on in the event of a crisis on the Korean peninsula or elsewhere in Northeast Asia,” Rogers said. “I have been working with my House colleagues to pressure the administration to address this important issue.”
Full article: U.S. Military Voices Worries Over South Korean Use of Chinese Telecom Gear (Washington Free Beacon)