Secret Espionage Plot Involving Chinese Cyberattack Exposed, Report Shows

( In an investigative report earlier this month, Bloomberg News revealed that the US government’s warnings about the national security risk posed by China’s Huawei Technologies Company weren’t just based on guesswork.

According to Bloomberg’s report, nearly ten years ago, Australian intelligence officials informed their US counterparts that they detected a sophisticated intrusion into Australia’s telecommunications systems that all began with a software update from Huawei that included malicious code.

Nearly two dozen former national security officials briefed about the breach and subsequent intelligence sharing between the US and Australia between 2012 and 2019 confirmed the incident to Bloomberg.

This 2012 breach of Australia’s telecom system, though never publicly revealed before, became a core part of the case the US and Australia have made against Huawei.

Subsequently, the US, Australia, Sweden, and the UK all banned Huawei from their 5G networks, and about sixty countries signed on to a US State Department program in which they committed to avoiding the use of Chinese equipment in their telecommunications systems.

The former intel officials who spoke with Bloomberg confirmed that a 2012 software update from Huawei installed on the network of one of Australia’s major telecommunications companies contained malicious code that functioned as a digital wiretap. It reprogrammed the infected equipment to record all communications passing through it and send the data to China. And once its work was done, the code deleted itself.

Australian intelligence determined that China’s espionage services were behind the breach. Chinese spies infiltrated the ranks of Huawei technicians who maintain the equipment and push the update to the telecom’s systems.

Australian intelligence officials shared their findings with US intelligence agencies who confirmed that a similar attack took place in the US.

In its investigative report, Bloomberg didn’t find evidence that Huawei’s senior leadership was aware of or involved in the attack. Huawei refused to answer Bloomberg’s specific questions. In a statement to Bloomberg, Huawei’s global cybersecurity officer John Suffolk said “no tangible evidence” has ever been presented to show “intentional wrongdoing.”

Read the Bloomberg report HERE.