Huawei success in 5G may be due to cyber espionage

According to Bloomberg, Chinese hackers could steal innovations from computer networks of Canadian Nortel and, probably, their success in the development of 5G Huawei may be due to cyber espionage.

Long before the Chinese company Huawei achieved great success in the field of 5G technology, in 2000s the large Canadian company Nortel was engaged in the successful development of wireless networks, called 4G and 5G. However, the success of Nortel not only brought great income to its management, but also made the company a target for competitors, writes Bloomberg.

According to the publication, in the late 1990s, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) became aware of “unusual traffic” indicating that hackers from China steal data directly from Nortel’s headquarters in Ottawa.

“We went to Nortel in Ottawa and told their management: “They are pumping your intellectual property.” But they did nothing”, — Bloomberg quotes Michel Juneau-Katsuya, who was then head of CSIS’s Asia Pacific division.

In 2004, hackers hacked into Nortel top management accounts. Using the account of Frank Dunn’s senior executive officer, the attackers sent about 800 documents to China, including PowerPoint presentations, analysis of sales losses, projects of American communications networks, and even the source code. The documents were handed over to a certain Shanghai Faxian company, with which Nortel had no deals.

Using the Il.browse script, cybercriminals “pumped” entire sections from the computer networks of a Canadian company: Product Development, Research and Development, Design Documents & Minutes, etc. Nortel ‘s senior system security adviser Brian Shields compared activity of hackers at that time with a vacuum cleaner.

By the way, I remind you that last year CIA informed its partners about linkage of Huawei and Chinese intelligence service.

Years later, Shields began to consider Nortel’s hacking and inability to take adequate measures as beginning of the end of the Canadian tech giant. According to him, the company never tried to establish how the accounts were hacked, and simply changed the passwords. No wonder they were hacked again. By 2009, Nortel became a bankrupt.

Who was behind the hacking and what kind of data was stolen has not been established yet. Nevertheless, according to Shields and other experts who investigated the incident, the PRC government was involved in a cyberattack, which sought to weaken Western competitors and promote its technology companies, in particular Huawei.

According to Huawei, the company did not know anything about the hacking of the Canadian tech giant, it had nothing to do with it and did not receive any documents belonging to Nortel.

“Everything is very simple and clear. Nortel was ruined by economic espionage. Just see who became Number 1 in the world and how quickly”, — said Shields.

Let me also remind you that Chinese bank forced western companies to install tax software with backdoor.

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Daniel Zimmermann

Daniel Zimmermann has been writing on security and malware subjects for many years and has been working in the security industry for over 10 years. Daniel was educated at the Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany and currently lives in New York.

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