Symantec Still Selling Huawei Equipment to the DoD

Monday, December 19, 2011

Jeffrey Carr

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A November 17, 2011 article in Channelnomics states that:

"Symantec may have ended its experiment as a hardware manufacturer by selling its stake in its joint venture with Huawei Technologies, but Big Yellow remains committed to developing appliance-based backup solutions and will continue to contract with Huawei and Huawei Symantec as a hardware supplier (emphasis added)."

"In a letter to partners, North America channel chief Randy Cochran says the contract manufacturing relationship between Symantec and Huawei will remain unaffected, as will Symantec’s commitment to marketing and developing appliance-based solutions."

So one of the world's largest security companies continues to partner with the very Chinese company that most of Symantec's customers are buying their systems to protect against.

That displays a level of hypocrisy that I have no tolerance for.

Even worse, as General James Cartwright and others in the U.S. government rail against China, the Department of Defense, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and CSC are all buying Huawei Symantec hardware according to one Huawei Symantec channel partner that I spoke with privately.

If Rep. Rogers makes good on his promise to hold hearings on Huawei and ZTE, I hope that he investigates who in the U.S. government and the Defense Industrial Base are buying Huawei Symantec products, which are all made by Huawei in China.

Cross-posted from jeffreycarr.com

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chris clark The following comment is purely personal, and does not reflect the opinions of Intel as a corporation. However, it should be noted that I work in Intel for a group that does sell products to the companies mentioned and also to their competitors.

While I can understand the concern about buying security equipment from Chinese companies. I think it is too broad a brush to say that we are trying to protect ourselves from those companies. That would be the equivalent of assuming every Kryptonite bike lock (or Master padlock) has a secret key that lets those companies steal from you. Such locks can be broken easily enough, but not because they were intentionally made insecure to grant the creating companies (or their overlords) access. The same rationale applies to Huawei Symmantec security appliances. While it is unlikely (but not impossible) that the Chinese government has put some secret trapdoor into such devices, one should also not depend upon them as one's only security solution, because even without a backdoor, they can and will be broken by a determined enough hacker. But not buying the devices for the security they offer, in most cases that is just paranoid. The Chinese do not prohibit these companies from buying parts from American companies, even though the NSA, CIA, or FBI might have put backdoors in our parts.
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Tom Coats I don't think you should blaim Symantec for selling Huwei hardware you should blaim the government for not recognizing this as a risk. COmpanies are amoral, Governments are supposed to reflect the morals of country.
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