Chi­nese firms build­ing UK 5G net­works ‘pose hack­ing risk’

The Sunday Telegraph - - News - By El­lie Zolfaghar­i­fard

CHI­NESE com­pa­nies build­ing 5G net­works could cre­ate “chaos” in the UK by hack­ing into ev­ery­thing from train ser­vices to en­ergy sys­tems, a for­mer se­cu­rity min­is­ter has warned.

Ad­mi­ral Lord West, an ex-First Sea Lord who served as se­cu­rity min­is­ter un­der Gor­don Brown, told The Sun­day Tele­graph that Chi­nese com­pa­nies could pro­vide Bei­jing with a back door to con­trol Bri­tain’s in­fra­struc­ture.

“We could have great vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties in all sorts of ar­eas,” he said. “All our com­mu­ni­ca­tions could be hacked. China could switch things off, shut things down. For in­stance, it could sud­denly stop al­go­rithms that train timeta­bles run on … you can just see the chaos that could en­sue.”

China is a world leader in de­vel­op­ing 5G, a mo­bile in­ter­net tech­nol­ogy that prom­ises faster down­load speeds and bet­ter con­nec­tions. The tech­nol­ogy, which is be­ing tri­alled in the UK, could speed up the cre­ation of “smart cities” in which ev­ery­thing from traf­fic sig­nals to driver­less cars are linked.

Huawei and ZTE, China’s lead­ing telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pa­nies, have been banned from pro­vid­ing 5G equip­ment to Aus­tralia over se­cu­rity con­cerns. The US has also banned the Chi­nese multi­na­tion­als from sell­ing equip­ment to the fed­eral govern­ment.

Bri­tish tele­coms op­er­a­tors were warned not to use ZTE equip­ment ear­lier this year, while a Govern­ment re­port into Huawei’s mo­bile in­fra­struc­ture in July found that it had “only lim­ited as­sur­ance” that the kit poses no threat to na­tional se­cu­rity.

Ready for ac­tion

Sol­diers took part in the an­nual Cam­brian Pa­trol ex­er­cise hosted by the 160 In­fantry Bri­gade in the Black Moun­tains of Wales. It is the the largest of its kind, with for­eign troops wel­comed af­ter win­ning their own do­mes­tic events.

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