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HUAWEI probed by Govt. of India for Hacking

BSNL Hack

World’s largest telecom and communications equipment manufacturer, HUAWEI is now being probed by cross-department investigation team under the Govt. of India’s orders to look into alleged hacking of BSNL Network.

IT & Communications Minister KilliKriparani has assured the LokSabha on 5th February during the parliament session that it has come to the ministry’s notice that the BSNL Network in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh has been allegedly hacked by the Chinese company and the government has constituted an inter-ministerial team to investigate the matter. Although the said hacking incident reports have been circulating for months, the minister didn’t share any further details in her written reply as to why the government took so many days to probe in and take action on the international giant.

A report by The Hindu back in December 2013 claimed that the Govt. of India was not satisfied by the BSNL’s internal handling of the incident and wants an inter-governmental team to be set up to probe the matter. BSNL’s base station controller (BSC), Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh is supposedly the center for the hacking incident and more interestingly so because the BSC, Rajahmundry’s BSNL network expansion contract was awarded to HUAWEI’s Shenzhen rival ZTE. The telco suspects “inter-corporate rivalry” may be at work behind this. Also this particular region is considered very sensitive because it is a Maoist strong hold which is involved in a long standing battle with the Govt. of India. “Considering the fact that all this has happened in a coastal city, and that too in a Naxal-affected State, a thorough probe might bring out more facts” says a senior official from the government.

The Indian government already expressed its concerns of security vulnerabilities over the kits provided by ZTE. In May 2013 reports emerged from the IT $ Communications ministry that the government was planning to set up a dedicated lab to test the telecom equipment for any kind of vulnerabilities though it is yet to happen. Also it is surprising that neither the print media nor the electronic or web media in India except for The Hindu has bothered to publish this National security threat related news.