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Huawei router security: Is there legitimate cause for concern?

Security expert Matthew Pascucci discusses Huawei router security and offers four tips for evaluating the security of enterprise network equipment.

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Networking vendor Huawei Technologies is under fire because security researchers say its routers are easily hacked. What's your take? Is there legitimate cause for concern with the security of Huawei enterprise networking equipment?

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You ask if there is cause for concern with Huawei router security, and, as of right now, there doesn't seem to be anything tangible. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, however. If vulnerabilities were able to pass through the QA process of the models in question, there's a reasonable chance that there are vulnerabilities in the enterprise network equipment that haven't been discovered.

Here are a few things to look for concerning the security of Huawei routers, should you have any on your network:

  • Determine what the vulnerability is and if the vendor is putting out a patch that will remediate this issue. As of now, while writing this article, there was no valid patch for the vulnerabilities found. I'd see if there are any updates that you can subscribe to in order to keep updated on the status of the issue.
  • Call your rep at Huawei Technologies, get an idea of what's going on and demand an update. This might help with getting a time frame for a patch/upgrade and what can be done now about the vulnerability.
  • Keep logging or start logging your company's network. Log everything from these devices and determine if someone's trying to exploit them. If you don't have a patch or a time frame for a patch, you need to proactively monitor these routers much closer. Now that the vulnerability is out there, criminals will start scanning networks in search of these devices. If you see them, block them promptly.
  • Lastly, if there isn't a good response from Huawei on how to handle the issue or a patch to fix the vulnerability, it might be time to search for a new vendor. This might sound brash, but your network's security is too important to leave unprotected.
This was first published in March 2013

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