It seems that when the United States was complaining that the Chinese tech giant Huawei had security backdoors, it knew it for sure, because it was the one who had put them there. As you may know, Huawei was banned from competing against American companies because the backdoors in question could supposedly allow the Chinese government to spy.
Nevertheless, the recent leak revealed that those backdoors had been placed by the National Security Agency as part of a major intelligence offensive against China. The agency made a special effort to target Huawei on behalf of American firms which realized they can’t compete against the Chinese company.
Five years ago, the US National Security Agency started an extensive operation dubbed “Shotgiant” against Huawei. A special unit with the NSA succeeded in infiltrating the company’s network and copied a list of 1,400 customers along with internal documents providing training to engineers on the use of Huawei products. US agents accessed the email archive and the secret source code of individual Huawei products. Since 2009, the NSA snuffled messages from company CEO and Chairwoman. Apparently, the agents had such good access and so much data that they simply didn’t know what to do with it.
NSA justified attacking Huawei by saying that many of its targets communicate over Huawei produced products and they just wanted to make sure they know how to exploit those products. In addition, the NSA was also worried that Huawei’s widespread infrastructure could provide the Chinese with signals intelligence capability. However, the leak doesn’t state whether the NSA found any data indicating that to be the case.
At the same time, the security agency indicates that the Chinese have been working to make the US and Western companies “less relevant”, claiming that the Chinese push opened up technology standards that were long determined by American companies, and China was controlling lots of online data. In other words, the US was declaring that Huawei networks were unsafe while itself spying on the Chinese giant.
In response, Huawei criticized the US spying measures, saying that it was really ironic that the Unites States was doing to them what they have always charged that the Chinese were doing through them. In addition, the US spying efforts proved that the NSA knew Huawei was independent and had no ties to any government.