Former Pentagon Analyst Says China Can Shut Down All The Telecom Gear It Sold To The US
Chinese companies apparently have a covert capability to remotely access
communications technology sold to the United States and other Western
countries and could "disable a country's telecommunications
infrastructure before a military engagement," according to former and
current intelligence sources.
The Chinese also have the ability to exploit networks "to enable
China to continue to steal technology and trade secrets," according to
the open source intelligence company Lignet, which is comprised of
former U.S. intelligence analysts.
The issue centers on the Chinese firm Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.,
which U.S. intelligence sources say has direct links to the Chinese
government and the People's Liberation Army, or PLA. These sources
assert that Huawei and other Chinese telecommunications firms such as
ZTE Corp. have "electronic backdoors" to telecommunications technology
sold to the U.S. and other countries.
Revelation of China's electronic backdoor capability into U.S. and
Western telecommunications networks comes on the heels of recent
WND/G2Bulletin revelations that China has been manufacturing counterfeit
components that have made their way into sensitive U.S. weapons
systems.
The problem of fake Chinese electronic components, which were
installed by defense contractors without prior testing and are operating
in U.S. military systems, is far more widespread than originally
thought.
These parts don't just come directly from China but also from
suppliers in Britain and Canada who redirect Chinese products to U.S.
defense contractors.
These counterfeit components have been found in sensitive U.S.
missile systems meant to thwart the potential of a Chinese missile
attack, in night vision devices and in various military aircraft.
"We do not want a $12 million defense interceptor's reliability
compromised by a $2 counterfeit part," Gen. Patrick O'Reilly, director
of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said.
Huawei, suspected of exploiting electronic telecommunications
backdoors, continues to sell communications technology in the U.S. and
other countries despite a supposed ban on the company that was supposed
to keep it from bidding on cellular networks and government contracts, a
current intelligence source said.
The electronic backdoor capability reportedly could allow the Chinese
government through Huawei and ZTE to access information traveling
through telecommunications networks or even sabotage electronic devices,
Lignet said.
With this capability, China would be in a position to sabotage
critical U.S. weapons systems and sensitive cyber sites and could
include intelligence or systems used by defense contractors doing work
on behalf of the U.S. government.
With cyber espionage on the rise and increasing attacks aimed at U.S.
government computer systems, these sources contend that Huawei has
achieved that capability on behalf of the Chinese government.
Sources say that Huawei can use its backdoor access to reach into
foreign telecommunications company systems without its knowledge or
permission.
In the case of the mobile phone maker ZTE, Lignet said that the
company pursued a security vulnerability through an electronic backdoor
on cell phones run on Google's Android system.
"This backdoor reportedly could allow someone to remotely control the phone," Lignet said.


In 2013 defense budget legislation, the House Armed Services
Committee's Strategic Forces Subcommittee had introduced language to
require a search of all U.S. nuclear weapons arsenals and infrastructure
to remove products from Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE
because of the possibility of "backdoors or code for espionage and/or
sabotage purposes by the Chinese government," Lignet pointed out.
These revelations follow a warning by the U.S. Department of Defense
that Chinese hackers are aiming malware at U.S. government agencies and
industries that could threaten the nation's economy.
The indication is that these attacks are directed by the Chinese government itself.


"Chinese actors are the world's most active and persistent
perpetrators of economic espionage," according to a DOD in a recent
report to Congress. "Chinese attempts to collect U.S. technological and
economic information will continue at a high level and will represent a
growing and persistent threat to U.S. economic security.
"China is likely to remain an aggressive and capable collector of
sensitive U.S. economic information and technologies, particularly in
cyberspace," DOD added.
Another concern raised by sources is that Huawei and the other
Chinese telecommunications companies also provide technology to Iran and
the Taliban.
According to sources, Iran's security network relies on Huawei
technology, raising the prospect, sources say, that the Iranians could
gain the same backdoor access as the Chinese intelligence service does
to U.S. defense and sensitive industries.
This concern has been heightened by new Iranian threats to undertake a
cyber war with the U.S. in response to recent revelations that the U.S.
was a principal player in launching a sophisticated cyber attack on
Iran's nuclear program.
Code-named Olympic Games, the effort by the Obama administration was
to initiate a cyber war against Iran along with Israel. Such a
revelation left little doubt that the U.S. and Israel also were behind
the Stuxnet virus which was inflicted on Iran's centrifuge machines used
to enrich uranium.
One source said that Washington already has declared that a cyber
attack on U.S. computer systems would constitute an act of war and that
would call for a military response. The Pentagon earlier this month said
that there would be a U.S. military response if there is a cyber attack
on government networks in effect, equating hacking with an act of
war.
Yet, the U.S. already has initiated such an attack on Iran which now
is threatening to do the same thing to U.S. computer systems.
In attempting to uncover cyber attacks before too much damage has
been done, sources say that there are millions of lines of software code
that transmit data securely and to find a malicious code would be
problematic and cost-prohibitive.