The Chinese group Huawei has had access, in the past, to all the data of the mobile network of the Dutch telecommunications operator KPN and, in particular, to the conversations of the former Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende (2002-2010), as well as members of his government. This is what revealed, Saturday April 17, the daily By Volkskrant, based on a report that has remained secret since 2010. Its conclusions are particularly “Sensitive” because, according to their authors, they could have “Seriously threaten” the existence of the KPN Mobile network, which at that time had 6.5 million subscribers.
KPN had been using the Shenzhen giant’s technology since 2009, and six Chinese employees worked at the company’s headquarters in The Hague. A security investigation and risk analysis would be launched at the time because of warnings from the internal intelligence services (AIVD), worried about a danger of massive espionage.
The report prepared by Capgemini and consulted by Of Volkskrant would have revealed “Alarming”, highlighting a danger for the Dutch public authorities and companies, but also for Chinese dissidents. According to experts, Huawei was indeed able to listen to all conversations and seize customer data since its technicians had access to the heart of the network. The Chinese company could also have damaged the very existence of it.
Another conclusion of the report: a Huawei server provided access to wiretaps carried out on the orders of the Dutch authorities. Capgemini, however, could not have concluded that employees of the Chinese company were indeed listening to such conversations.
Misuse of a series of information
Based on the study, KPN’s management reportedly decided not to grant Huawei the maintenance contract for its entire mobile network, a task ultimately entrusted to Western companies. The Dutch group has also adopted a strategic plan to better protect its infrastructure.
In a statement released after the revelations of Volkskrant, KPN has indicated that none of its suppliers have access “Unauthorized, uncontrolled or unlimited” to its systems and networks. “Over the years, we have never seen that data relating to our customers could have been hijacked by Huawei, or that our customers could have been listened to, the statement clarified. If this had been the case, we would certainly have informed the authorities and our customers, and we would have taken action against the supplier. “
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