Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by bit-tech, 20 May 2019.
Has there been any proof that Huawei are dodgy? Maybe i missed it but so far it all seems hearsay.
I understand the Chinese government says businesses must help them to hack stuff but doesn't our own government have similar laws?
Smoke>Fire as of right now, but it's not just the American government that has expressed concern over Huawei's operations.
There is also the small issue of it's CFO being arrested in Canada for dealing with Iran (a sure fire way of pissing people off).
The dodgy bit was the 4g/5g infrastructure, although no proof has ever been presented but it doesn't surprise me if there were serious concerns that the Chinese government made Huawei add a back door. Being in a situation where the Chinese could turn off all our mobile phone networks is pretty dire.
However this has nothing to do with the phones - I'm guessing this is more to do with Trumps China trade war. The obvious response from China is to ban Apple in the same way (i.e. no Chinese company may supply hardware components to Apple).
As for arresting the CFO, well that seems more like the trade war again - is she the only one that's done something like this? I'm betting there's plenty of people passing through Canada that at some point in their past have sailed close to the wind but aren't being arrested for it. So far the effect of that is China has become very keen on executing Canadian's - who have committed a crime, but because they are Canadian used to get a lesser sentence but now get a free upgrade to the harshest one available.
Being in a situation where anyone could do that seems a bit dire, it baffles me why something like a mobile network infrastructure would be provided by a single entity.
As per GCHQ's latest oversight report, Huawei's network hardware security was described as 'shoddy', but down to poor version control practices (i.e. incompetence rather than malice). No evidence of any sort of backdoor has been presented, and as far as I am aware no security service (even US) has produced any advisory to mitigate any supposed backdoor (i.e. if there is a backdoor, every security service is happy for the Chinese to exploit it).
As for forced modifications at a latter date by the Chinese government: that is indeed a possibility, just as with e.g. Cisco backdoors could be installed by the NSA (as has been documented).
This is why Google, Facebook et al have moved to software-defined networking on self-built hardware (e.g.): to minimise the attack surface compared to buying vendor hardware.
Phones are just a collateral damage.
Can we have a ban on countries that spy themselves bitching about other countries potentially doing the same thing instead?
Update: Huawei has been granted a temporary 'general licence' by the US government, allowing it to continue receiving hardware and software from US companies for a period of 90 days in order that it can continue to support existing US customers. Neither the US government nor Huawei have offered an explanation for what will happen when the 90-day licence expires.
Another update, and a big one this time: The BBC is reporting on an internal memo to staff at Arm which allegedly states the Cambridge-based company, owned by Japanese technology giant SoftBank, will be complying with the US trade blockade. If so, Huawei will be prevented from using technology it has licensed from Arm - including the processor and system-on-chip intellectual property (IP) which powers the processors designed by its HiSilicon subsidiary. Thus far, neither Arm nor Huawei have commented on the outlet's claim.
So, basically, it can't buy chips from Qualcomm and the like, and it can't even make its own chips. Big opportunity for something like RISC-V, here, if Huawei can port its in-house mobile OS to the ISA before it bleeds out cash-wise.
Huawei's "in house OS" is just AOSP without the GApps, same as many vendors sell at the moment (and Huawei themselves have sold in the past) and anyone can build (hence the many AOSP images available for existing devices), which puts it one .apk GApps pack and GSF Device-ID registration away from being a regular Android device. Or use something like Micro-G or other home-grown API-compatible replacement.
AFAIAA there is not RIXC-V port of AOSP yet, but it's not an impossible task. If Huawei were to go that route, it would be a big blow for US chipmakers (licensors and fabbers) by eliminating a lot of China's reliance on external suppliers, and cutting them off from a fast-growing market.
As for 'but why are ARM [a uk/japanese company] complying with an edict from Uncle Sam?'
IIRC if the US deems them to be aiding in the cirumvention of sacntions against Huawei by supplying them with kit/ip, they risk also being put on the US Gov. naughty list.
...iirc this is [officially] why they had the Huawei CFO arrested, the US Govt believed they were helping Iran evade US sanctions.
In short, political ass covering.
Considering the mighty Intel with its infinity gazillion R&D budget and experience couldn't even manage a whimper when it surrendered the mobile market to ARM...
I'd have some serious doubts about something like Risc-v coming along to save the day (even if the government of China threw a couple billions at it).
That was more down to Intel being waaaay too late to even start working on it, and then taking the completely wrong tactic when they finally got around to addressing the mobile market by aiming stright at the bottom end. When Atom as a low-power-low-performance design fell flat on its face and they focussed on pushing Core's power down while maintaining single-thread burst performance, they've effectively shut ARM out of the laptop market even at the low end: every attempt at an ARM laptop or tablet has failed. Even in the tablet market Windows tablets running Core Y chips are dominating the high end over ARM-based tablets (Android or Windows). With 'phablets' taking over the low-end tablet market, that acts as the demarcation between Intel and ARM for mobile devices.
Separate names with a comma.