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What National Security Risks Does Huawei Really Pose?

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A staff member of Huawei uses her mobile phone at the Huawei Digital Transformation Showcase.

Huawei has been in the news quite a bit recently, primarily for the alleged risks the Chinese telecommunications company poses to broad national security and commercial interests in the United States and elsewhere. But we want to focus here on three risk factors that have been at times dangerously conflated in media coverage and analysis, including just last week in Bloomberg: vulnerabilities, backdoors, and bugdoors.

Conflating the three isn’t just some minor technical misunderstanding. It has far more expansive implications, and can fundamentally alter one’s risk assessment of Huawei’s presence in 5G systems around the world.

Vulnerabilities refer broadly to security flaws in software and hardware systems, and every system has them. These flaws could arise for a number of reasons, such as poorly written code or misconfigured hardware circuitry. A quick online search will reveal that vulnerabilities are discovered all the time—in laptops, smartphones, cars, manufacturing plant machinery—and that virtually no digital device is immune to them.





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Thanks !

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