US companies warned to end dealings with Huawei and ZTE – is this the start of a ‘Cyber Cold War’?

US companies have been warned against using Chinese technology giants, Huawei and ZTE, in fear of leaving the country open to espionage and cyberattack.

The US House Intelligence Committee’s report concluded that “Huawei and ZTE cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence and thus pose a security threat to the United States and to our systems”.

In response to these allegations, both Huawei and ZTE have come back fighting, suggesting the findings of the report were politically motivated.

But with a growing number of cyberattacks being traced back to China, there is increasing suspicions about its companies, feulling the build up to what many cybersecurity experts have named as the ‘Cyber Cold War’.

Currently the UK has kept quiet about this report, but with Huawei and ZTE operating in the UK too – investing millions of pounds and creating hundreds of jobs – the focus will soon be on whether the UK will take advice from the US.

Brian Honan, author of ISO27001 in a Windows® Environment and information security consultant told the BBC that Huawei should be ‘closely monitored’.

“One of the challenges we face these days with globalisation is that it’s very hard to verify the supply chain,” Brian said.

For more information on the Chinese cyber threat, take a look at William Hagestad’s latest book, titled 21st Century Chinese Cyberwarfare. William believes that China uses state sponsored 21st Century hacking technology to carry out campaigns of targeting and collecting intelligence against their chosen cyber targets, supporting the information necessary to become the next superpower. This book touches heavily on Huawei and ZTE.

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Source: BBC