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Huawei’s use of outdated software code could explain UK gov criticism

HUAWEI’S USE of an outdated piece of software could explain why the UK has gone all jittery over the Chinese tech giant.

The software – VxWorks from Wind River – a US (yes, US) based company, is embedded in a number of components that will still be in service in 2020 when the software will reach end of life (EoL), but the hardware will have years to run.

Reuters reports that this is one of the ‘shortcomings’ identified but not explained fully when UK regulators revealed their concerns last month.

The EoL components are already embedded in the UK telecom network and Huawei has given much longer EoL dates for the hardware, not accounting for the software.

This is fairly typical behaviour for smaller Chinese manufacturers who don’t quite understand how the game is played here, but for Huawei, which recently became the second biggest smartphone company in the world, it’s a bit odd, and lest we forget, Huawei is also the biggest producer of telecoms equipment too.

Although US and Australian governments have warned that Huawei equipment could be used for espionage by China, this seems to suggest that the full story of why could show that Huawei isn’t as much of demon as everyone claims. There is no indication that Huawei is doing this on purpose, nor that the software alone presents a risk.

A Wind River spokesperson said: “Wind River offers migration routes and paths for its customers, which should be pretty well known and understood in the industry.”

Huawei added, in response to the UK report: “Cybersecurity remains Huawei’s top priority, and we will continue to actively improve our engineering processes and risk management systems,” adding that it intended to address areas of improvement suggested by the UK government.

That’s good news because this about more than software – the report also slammed issues which stopped researchers from checking internal code.

For the consumer side, Huawei’s decision to stop allowing users to open up the bootloader of Huawei and Honor devices remains a huge bone of contention, and although the company blames the decision on a gazillion and one other thing, the reality is that its also one more way to stop hackers getting a deep dive on the internal workings of Huawei products, and in the current climate, that’s not playing at all well. μ

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Source : Inquirer

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