[ISN] Britain could be shut down by hackers from China, intelligence experts warn

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 02:20:58 -0600 (CST)

By Alastair Jamieson
29 March 2009

Ministers have been warned that a new £10bn communications network being 
developed by BT is vulnerable to a potential attack from within the 
Communist state because it uses equipment supplied by Chinese telecoms 
firm Huawei.

Although the risk of anyone in China exploiting the capability is 
currently low, intelligence experts believe the impact of any such 
attack would be very high. Computers at the Foreign Office and other 
Whitehall departments were attacked from China in 2007 and the threat 
from foreign governments and big companies is believed to be greater 
than that posed by terrorists.

Alex Allan, chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), it 
thought to have briefed members of the ministerial committee on national 
security about the threat from China at a Whitehall meeting in January. 
Ministers were told steps to curb the potential threat have made little 

Huawei is China's biggest phone company and a major world supplier. 
Under a multi-million pound deal signed in 2005, it is providing key 
components for BT's new '21CN' network which will use internet 
technology to speed up communications on behalf of thousands of public 
agencies and businesses.

Among those who will be relying on the new network are the government's 
own intelligence agency GCHQ, Whitehall departments and the military.


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Received on Mon Mar 30 2009 - 01:20:58 PDT

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