Huawei is under investigation in India for allegedly hacking into network of state-owned telecoms company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).
It has been claimed that the Chinese company tried to sabotage BSNL’s expansion plans in Rajahmundry in coastal Andhra Pradesh in 2013 and is under investigation by an inter-ministerial team comprising of members from India’s top intelligence agencies and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
T. Killi Kruparani, Union Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology, told the lower house of the Parliament: “An incident about alleged hacking of BSNL network by Huawei, a Chinese telecom company, has come to notice. The government has constituted an inter-ministerial team to investigate the matter.”
The alleged hacking incident seems to be a result of corporate rivalry wherein a mobile tower coastal area of Andhra Pradesh was hacked by Huawei’s engineers.
The details of the hack haven’t been released, but it is said that Huawei and ZTE were two top contenders in a network expansion tender in 2012. Things worked out in favour of ZTE and Huawei wasn’t awarded the bid because it didn’t match ZTE’s price. It is believed that this is what instigated the hack.
India had already suggested that government test out equipment from Chinese companies and follow US’ model of auditing telecom equipment that may have serious security implications.