"60-70% of the telecom software provided to India is manufactured by Huawei and ZTE, and most definitely it is at great risk!," alerts Maj Gen Dhruv C Katoch,SM,VSM9Rtd),additional director, Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS) speaking at National seminar on technical Sovereignty in ICT organized by the Centre for Digital Economy Policy Research (C-DEP) and CLAWS.
The Indian defense think tanks have shown great concern over the lack of indigenous manufacturing in India and the total dependence and encouragement given to foreign investments especially from Chinese telecom manufacturers like ZTE and Huawei.
The seminar hosted by Indian army and Defense think tanks- CLAWS and C-DEP reiterated that Chinese manufacturers are a great threat to India considering the inability and impossibility of decoding or tracking the chipsets manufactured by them unlike any other country.
"America assemble everything, they import it. But Chinese manufactured telecom equipment are suspicious as you cannot know what's inside. You cannot decode the units manufactured by them and thus pose higher risk and threat," insists Lt Gen SP Kochhar, AVSM,SM,VSM,ADC,SO-in-C & Senior Col Commandant.
This adds another blow to the Chinese telecom gear manufacturers operating in India, ZTE and Huawei which are currently undergoing recent thrashing from US committee's recent report as well.
The chairman and ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), Mike Rogers (R-MI) and CA Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), released a report recommending US companies considering doing business with Chinese telecom companies Huawei and ZTE to find another vendor.
The report recommends that US government systems, particularly sensitive systems, exclude Huawei or ZTE equipment or component parts.
'Any bug, beacon, or backdoor put into our critical systems could allow for a catastrophic and devastating domino effect of failures throughout our networks. As this report shows, we have serious concerns about Huawei and ZTE, and their connection to the communist government of China. China is known to be the major perpetrator of cyber espionage, and Huawei and ZTE failed to alleviate serious concerns throughout this important investigation.American businesses should use other vendors,' Chairman Rogers said.
The report highlights the inter connectivity of US critical infrastructure systems and warns of the heightened threat of cyber espionage and predatory disruption or destruction of US networks if telecommunications networks are built by companies with known ties to the Chinese state, a country known to aggressively steal valuable trade secrets and other sensitive data from American companies.