John Hemmings @JohnHemmings2 Associate Professor Security Studies, @APCSS. Assoc fellow: @CSIS @HJS_org, @PacificForum. Writes on Asia & the West; All views my own. Jul. 11, 2019 2 min read

Excellent report on the technical vulnerabilities found in #Huawei’s devices, code, and #5G systems. A superb and highly technical report, but the main finding? Multiple backdoors were found. Thread 👇🏻 

“Finite State’s conducted comprehensive, unbiased analysis of the security properties of (Huawei) devices. Our automated system analyzed more than 1.5 million files embedded in 9,936 firmware images supporting 558 different products within its enterprise networking product lines”

“The results of the analysis show that Huawei devices quantitatively pose a high risk to their users. In virtually all categories we studied, we found Huawei devices to be less secure than comparable devices from other vendors.”

“On average, Huawei devices had 102 known vulnerabilities inside their firmware, primarily due to the use of vulnerable open-source and third-party components.”

“Out of all the firmware images analyzed, 55% had at least one potential backdoor. These backdoor access vulnerabilities allow an attacker with knowledge of the firmware and/or with a corresponding cryptographic key to log into the device.”

“On dozens of occasions, Huawei engineers disguised known unsafe functions (such as memcpy) as the “safe” version (memcpy_s) by creating wrapper functions with the “safe” name but none of the safety checks.”

“Across 356 firmware images, there are several million calls into unsafe functions. Huawei engineers choose the “safe” option of these functions less than 17% of the time, despite the fact that these functions improve security and have existed for over a decade.”

“Security is not improving over time. In at least one instance, security became quantifiably worse for users that patched their devices to the updated version of firmware.”

“Huawei devices had substantially more known vulnerabilities and 2-8x more potential 0-day vulnerabilities than the other devices. The Huawei devices was were only devices that contained hard-coded default credentials and hard-coded default cryptographic keys.”

“Vodafone asked Huawei to remove backdoors in home internet routers in 2011 and received assurances from the supplier that the issues were fixed, but further testing revealed that the security vulnerabilities remained.”

”Vodafone also identified backdoors in parts of its fixed-access network known as optical service nodes, which are responsible for transporting traffic over optical fibers other parts called broadband network gateways, which handle subscriber authentication & access to internet.”

“Vulnerabilities in both the routers and the fixed access network remained beyond 2012 and were also present in Vodafone’s businesses in the U.K., Germany, Spain and Portugal.”

You can follow @JohnHemmings2.


Tip: mention @threader_app on a Twitter thread with the keyword “compile” to get a link to it.

Enjoy Threader? Sign up.

Threader is an independent project created by only two developers. The site gets 500,000+ visits a month and our iOS Twitter client was featured as an App of the Day by Apple. Running this space is expensive and time consuming. If you find Threader useful, please consider supporting us to make it a sustainable project.