November 08, 2012, 8:57 PM — ORLANDO, Fla. -- The chief security officer of Huawei, the Chinese company recently flagged by Congress as a national security threat, says the network equipment maker could actually help the United States defend itself against malicious Internet traffic.
HUAWEI: Separating fact from fiction
Andy Purdy, Huawei Technologies' CSO, spoke here today on a Cloud Security Alliance Congress panel of security experts from the U.S. government and industry that raised warnings about Chinese espionage across the Internet.
In representing the sole China-based company on the panel, Purdy said there are ongoing discussions between the U.S. and China on supply-chain safety, and private companies should be part of it. There should be "openness, transparency and freedom," he said.
"Part of the planning of the U.S. hopefully is collaboration with the private sector and part of the strategy should be planning how to block malicious traffic," said Purdy, adding ISPs could do that. He said: "It's disgraceful the government isn't doing anything to address the Internet underground."
Purdy pointed out that Huawei agreed with the U.S. administration about possible risks to the global supply chain. He noted that Huawei, with $32 billion in revenues, makes less than $2 billion in the U.S., but a third of its components come from the U.S., meaning thousands of U.S. jobs are supported.
Nevertheless, China has been stealing vast amounts of U.S. corporate intellectual property by breaking into networks, said Scott Borg, director and chief economist for the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, described as a research organization set up by the U.S. government specifically to look at the nature of cyberattacks and supply-chain safety issues.
"We're also finding malicious firmware in products from China," Borg said. "China and Chinese companies aren't playing by the same rules we are."