Huawei gear discovered, removed from U.S. nuclear lab

Huawei gear discovered, removed from U.S. nuclear lab

Summary: Reuters cited a letter dated Nov. 5 noting that the lab replaced gear made by H3C Technologies, a Chinese company that used to be a joint venture between Huawei and 3Com.

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Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, one of the top nuclear weapons labs in the U.S., has removed Huawei switches over security worries, according to a document obtained by Reuters.

Reuters cited a letter dated Nov. 5 noting that the lab replaced gear made by H3C Technologies, a Chinese company that used to be a joint venture between Huawei and 3Com.

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The news comes a few months after Huawei was panned by legislators as being a security threat. Huawei has said it is being singled out. U.S. legislators maintain that Huawei's ties to the Chinese government and military are worrisome.

Reuters noted:

The discovery raises questions about procurement practices by U.S. departments responsible for national security. The U.S. government and Congress have raised concerns about Huawei and its alleged ties to the Chinese military and government.

The issue, however, is that 3Com was acquired by HP in 2010. The Huawei joint venture with 3Com may have been included in any enterprise standard cross-selling procedure. Los Alamos' CIO discovered that H3C devices were starting to be installed. Huawei sold its stake in H3C to 3Com in 2007.

Bottom line: I'm not sure it's worth getting wound up about what appears to a small number of H3C devices obviously procured before a House Intelligence Committee report blasting Huawei. Los Alamos removed the gear and moved on.

Huawei's William Plummer, vice president of external affairs, responded to the Reuters report and said:

The quality, integrity and security of Huawei's gear is world-proven - 150 markets, over 500 operator customers, 45 of the world' top 50, including nationwide carriers in virtually every OECD country.

Notwithstanding a lot of political and anti-competitive smoke and mirrors in the U.S. over the last couple of years, there has never been a whit of evidence that Huawei gear is less secure than competitors.

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Topics: Networking, Data Centers, Government US, Security

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4 comments
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  • Not so fast

    H3C was acquired by HP as well, and the H3C line was rebadged as HP's high-end 5800 series of switches. I doubt the engineering was repatriated from China to the US, so pretty much anyone using high-end HP switches has network equipment with Huawei DNA in it.
    fazalmajid
  • Too Late!

    Can they unsend those bits which were already transmitted through that gear, and send them again? Otherwise they must go back through all that data and mark those bits as tainted.
    ldo17
    • No, the Chinese already have the nuclear lab data.

      "Can they unsend those bits which were already transmitted through that gear, and send them again? Otherwise they must go back through all that data and mark those bits as tainted."

      You mean all the data secretly sent to the Chinese military through the built-in backdoor? No, can't un-send those I'm afraid.
      ChazzMatt
  • The PC you typed this on says "Made in .... " ?

    Better trash that too - it might have a back door to Beijing.
    anthonymaw