Nokia says ‘CTO was wrong’ in criticising Huawei

Marcus Weldon.jpg

Nokia has issued a quick denial of a comment by its own CTO, Marcus Weldon, who criticised the security of Huawei kit in a radio interview.

Weldon (pictured), who is not only CTO but also president of its world-leading Bell Labs, commented in the interview on an independent report on Huawei security.

“Some of it seems to be just sloppiness, honestly, that they haven't patched things, they haven't upgraded. But some of it is real obfuscation, where they make it look like they have the secure version when they don’t,” he told BBC World Service’s Tech Tent programme.

This echoes comments by another, unnamed telecoms security expert made to Capacity in the June-July issue

But Nokia was clearly embarrassed by Weldon’s comments. Without naming him or Huawei it issued a statement saying: “These comments do not reflect the official position of Nokia. Nokia is focused on the integrity of its own products and services and does not have its own assessment of any potential vulnerabilities associated with its competitors.”

In his interview, Weldon cited a study by Finite State, which said: “In virtually all categories we studied, we found Huawei devices to be less secure than comparable devices from other vendors.”

Weldon said in the interview with presenter Rory Cellan-Jones: “We read those reports and we think OK, we’re doing a much better job than they are.” He said “customers should be wary of Chinese suppliers. ... Huawei represents a bit of a risk.”

He said that Nokia kit “is subject to the same scrutiny” to Huawei’s kit.

Weldon became the thirteenth president of Bell Labs in 2016.



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