NSA stole Huawei’s source code, could have added back doors

by: Gary SimsMarch 29, 2014

Huawei boothAccording to new documents released by Edward Snowden, the NSA ran an operation code-named “Shotgiant” which targeted the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei. The documents come from an internal NSA presentation and show that the NSA succeeded in hacking into Huawei’s internal servers and got access to the company’s emails as well as its source code repositories.

Internally Huawei routed all of its emails through one server in Shenzhen where the NSA managed to siphon off the data and gain access to a large portion of the internal communications including messages from company CEO Ren Zhengfei and Chairwoman Sun Yafang. Since the company employs some 150,000 people, the amount of data coming out of Huawei was more than the NSA could handle. According to Der Spiegel an internal NSA document stated that, “we currently have good access and so much data that we don’t know what to do with it.”

'If it is true, the irony is that exactly what they are doing to us is what they have always charged that the Chinese are doing through us,' said Huawei.

The relationship between Huawei and the USA government can at best be described as turbulent. Back in 2012, the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee said that American telecommunication operators should not buy equipment from Huawei because of the security risks posed by potential Chinese state interference. Following the report the White House ordered a review of the security risks posed by Huawei and other Chinese telecom suppliers. The 18-month review found that there was no evidence of Huawei spying via back doors in its equipment. 

Huawei’s troubles stem from the fact that the company was founded by Ren Zhengfei, a former officer of the People’s Liberation Army. The House of Representatives committee report concluded that “the risks associated with Huawei provision of equipment to US critical infrastructure could undermine core US national-security interests.”

Huawei MediaPad X1 aa 12

At this point the hypocrisy of the U.S government is unbelievable. While on the one hand it bans Huawei from selling its equipment in the USA due to fears of spying by the Chinese, the NSA is actively hacking into Huawei and stealing the source code for Huawei’s products.

Since Huawei also makes Android handsets it isn't beyond reason to speculate that the NSA has implanted code in these devices.

With access to the source code, the NSA wanted to add its own back doors so that when the company sold equipment to other countries it could easily gain access to their networks and conduct surveillance operations.

“If it is true, the irony is that exactly what they are doing to us is what they have always charged that the Chinese are doing through us,” said Huawei spokesman Bill Plummer. “If such espionage has been truly conducted, then it is known that the company is independent and has no unusual ties to any government and that knowledge should be relayed publicly to put an end to an era of mis- and disinformation.”

Since Huawei also makes Android handsets it isn’t beyond reason to speculate that the NSA has implanted code in these devices and could be using them to spy on consumers all over the world, especially those in Asia.

  • MasterMuffin

    I think by now everyone can see that the USA is (at least almost) as bad as all the others. Spying, pressuring other countries and always going to wars etc. damn hypocrites

    Oh “in these devices AND could be using” :)

    • Guest123

      The US is much worse. The reason is, they are doing it under the disguise of being “democratic” and “the good guys” when in reality, the US in constantly undermining goverments around the world, replacing dictators and warlords with their own, etc. . . the US gov is doing some very unspeakable things around the world and the USA is supposed to be a country governed by the people for the people, etc. . the USA is suppossed to be that one “true beacon of light” for freedom instead they (the gov) behave like tyrannical fascists behind a curtain of “freedom.”

      • MasterMuffin

        I guess all the big countries are evil eg. China, Russia, USA. Wouldn’t put them in any order though :)

        • Guest123

          any country with a private centralized bank is going to do whatever those behind that bank tell them to do, and all the “big” countries have private centralized banks that control the money, and they are all doing despicable things.

          • MasterMuffin

            We need more Snowdens

        • Mur

          Trust me, as someone who knows Russia quite well, it’s far far FAR more “evil” them any modern western nation (US, EU..).

      • Sick Sad World

        The hypocrisy is unbelievable now.

        Evil and rotten to the core.

        This is Bad.

        • Guest123

          even worse when people really understand how corporations and government in the US are working together to achieve all these “evil” goals.

    • Leonardo Rojas

      You forgot: Making slaughter of children legal (Planned Parenthood = Abortion facilities), banning homeschooling (meaning you are allowed to kill your child but you are not allowed to educate it), persecuting Christians, promoting debauchery, supporting the illness of homosexuality (and very soon pedophilia, too), and all having a -Muslim- president that should be abrogated and in jail cause it’s a traitor of his country by giving weapons to Syrian rebels (terrorists).
      The US is rotten, and its people is slowly getting used to the smell believing they are being modern and tolerant.

      • master5hake

        Lol. You running low on tinfoil are we?

        • Leonardo Rojas

          You must be living in Far Far Away.


        You are one fry away from a crazy ass bag of Nuts. The conservative hatred is strong in you. Plz let this be sarcasm God.

        • Leonardo Rojas

          Conservative hatred? o.O I’m a simpathetic informed human being.
          But, hey little modern liberal, you must live in the US. Do you support this?

          • Keg Man

            in the USA we dont allow abortion this late in pregnancy. But I imagine you are all for pleasing your god by mutilating your baby boy’s genitals because the bible says foreskins make a great wedding dowry.

          • JAYCEECAM

            Debauchery, Muslim president, illness of homosexuality… My friend you are what regular people call psycho and disconnected from reality. You are exactly what is wrong with humanity. You may support one good cause but the rest of the crap you spew is pure hatred while feigning rightful, self righteous indignation. The good thing is I’m not self-righteous so I hope that people like you die a horrible death and when you get to heaven’s door a black and red hole whole opens and swallows the shit out of you and Lucifer has a great time for an eternity that he torments you people. Oh my God, you are a horrible person. Point of views are powerful, you might not be doing any harm but the people that you people support and empowers is bringing down the rest of humanity to it’s knees. Please, just die.

      • Cole Raney

        No federal money goes to abortions at plabned parenthood, or anywhere. Planned parenthood does way more than give abortions. You can still homeschool your kid so I have no idea where that crackpot idea came from. Persecuting Christians? Yeah we are totally persecuting the 80% majority even though no laws discriminate against them. Meanwhile atheists cannot legally hold public office in at least 8 states. Muslim president, who is a Christian. Trust me, Obama is not closet Muslim. It would be much mpre likely if he was an atheist. Either way doesn’t matter since he is a politician, not a religious leader. Dear god, do you sheep believe every conspiracy theory you hear?

        • Leonardo Rojas

          You’re simply not worth my time.

          “Planned Parenthood received $540.6 million in tax dollars, performed 327,166 abortions in 2012”


          But, just in case, if you happen to care for or know anything:

          Should YOU be forced to underwrite Planned Parenthood with your tax dollars?

          Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion chain in America and has killed more than 5 million innocent children at its facilities
          Planned Parenthood’s top goal for the next 14 years is to push its agenda of promiscuous sex everywhere in our society
          Planned Parenthood puts minors on birth control without parents’ knowledge or involvement
          Planned Parenthood has demonstrated a willingness to cover up for rapists and child predators
          Planned Parenthood pushes pornography onto children with shocking and offensive websites, books, and literature
          Planned Parenthood is openly hostile to Christianity, and regularly mocks people of faith
          Planned Parenthood hurts women with misleading and dishonest medical information
          And Planned Parenthood does all of this with over $542.4 million dollars a year of your tax money

          Millions of Americans are fed up with this insanity! Take a stand and tell your elected officials that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! We, the undersigned, ask all elected officials to ensure that Planned Parenthood receives absolutely no taxpayer dollars.


          • Keg Man

            and our govt takes zero tax dollars from religious institutions. We should start. Christianity isn’t against murder, it’s own god murdered thousands, if not millions of innocent men women, children and unborn fetuses in the flood. The christian god says that when you are under seige, you can eat infants to survive. The christian god says that you can take slaves……yeah planned parenthood, their the bad ones

      • Mur

        This has got to be a troll…

    • Mur

      The NSA does not give away trade secrets to US companies, and only collects information in order to inform elected officials and because every major power simply needs to conduct surveillance on rival nations. I’ve got no problem with the NSA actually doing its job, its the unconstitutional spying on ourselves that thethe angers us.

  • Airyl

    Hrmm. NSA, you guys shouldn’t do that. It’s not nice to accuse people of doing something bad, especially when you’re doing it yourself. It’s like saying you’re brother stole cookies from a jar, even though you took some too. It’s just wrong. I know you’re trying to do this for the safety of your country, but this is taking it a bit too far.

  • bros

    NSA must limit their own power. For their own good.
    When an entity gain too much power, it’s more likely that it will be corrupted from inside.

    • mobilemann

      Infinte power corrupts infinitely

    • Mur

      A single congressional vote, or supreme court decision, and the NSA loses all its funding. Its the executive, legislative, and judicial branches which should be blamed for not taking action.

  • TimothyTPhifer

    “If such espionage has been truly conducted, then it is known that the company is independent and has no unusual ties to any government and that knowledge should be relayed publicly to put an end to an era of mis- and disinformation.” theres nothing that would surprise me when it comes to the us gov.. i liek to think its for our safety…. but idk http://qr.net/rtcX

  • wow

    The US govt has violated international law and Obama and many govnt leaders must go to jail. End of story. Rout them.

    • phonedog

      Rout them?. Since this is AA I prefer to Root them…remove bloatwanker and flash them with Cynidegenmod..

    • Mur

      Since when is spying violating international law? And since when is Obama accountable to international law? His sule duty is to respect the constitution and act in the interest of the American people.



    • mobilemann

      As some who has installed and run biometrics for several companies in NYC, that’s really cute.

  • Humberto Hernandez


  • Mystery Man

    The NSA is no different than the government funded Chinese hackers APT1. Good story.

  • K.

    This is both good and bad news for Huawei. On one hand, it shows that they have not put any back-door themselves. But on the other hand, it shows how the company’s security is weak. How can any company or government buy their products now without worrying that the NSA has such an easy access.
    With this, the NSA could collect important industrial secrets and give/sell them US companies, although the NSA is denying this: “We do not use foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade
    secrets of foreign companies on behalf of—or give intelligence we
    collect to—U.S. companies to enhance their international competitiveness
    or increase their bottom line,”

    • John Doe

      Because it’s the NSA. If they tried hard enough, I bet they could even get past Samsung’s security.

      • K.

        Maybe. But until proven otherwise, they haven’t breached Samsung’s security.
        More importantly, this means that with their intel it is easier for the NSA to spy on people/companies/governments with devices from Huawei.

        • Guest123

          Samsung has corporations in the USA, thus the NSA does not need to break their security, as Samsung, like all other US corporations, will comply with the NSA’s wishes and give over any and all data.

  • Alistair

    Let’s face it, the US claims it’s to counter terrorism, and they also like to mention 9/11 a lot, but it’s just an excuse. There’s no way in a Billion years that they can use the info they get to counter terrorism. Why? They can’t process it all! Things they do like developing malware to remotely install on Computers etc., has made the line between Government and terrorist very unclear.

  • kirakira

    is spying even news? that’s a fact for every country that has the capability. does not really make huawei or china less guilty.


    Seriously! Why are people so surprised that the agency that SPIES on people is spying on people! The only problem I see is that they are also spying on Americans. The whole purpose of a spy agency is to SPY. Every country worth their grain of salt have spies. If you think that countries with global interest should burry their heads in the sand without utilizing their spy network than you are being stupid. It is the Job of the NSA to know as much as possible on foreign entities and governments in order to deal with them the proper way.

  • Bill

    In the name of national security, any country can justify its dirty work. If its citizens allow the government agencies to do so.

  • Damon Adrian

    ron paul is our only hope