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