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Huawei set to face even more scrutiny from UK security forces

(Image credit: Image Credit: J.Lekavicius / Shutterstock)

Huawei is set to face more scrutiny in the UK after further claims that its products lack proper security protection came to light.

The Chinese phone giant, which recently overtook Apple to become the world's second-largest smartphone manufacturer, initially came under suspicion in the UK last month after a report from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) warned against using the company's hardware due to security issues.

Now, Reuters (opens in new tab) has reported that the company's software usage is also under investigation after the revelation that some Huawei products use a soon-to-be unprotected platform.

The threat reportedly comes from Huawei's use of the VxWorks operating system, made by US firm Wind River Systems.

According to the sources speaking to Reuters, the version of VxWorks used by Huawei will not receive security patches and updates from Wind River after 2020. This is despite many of the products utilising this software still being in use - including those apparently embedded in British telecoms networks, leaving them potentially vulnerable to attack.

“Third party software, including security critical components, on various component boards will come out of existing long-term support in 2020, even though the Huawei end of life date for the products containing this component is often longer,” the report said.

Reuters did not identify which particular Huawei products would be affected, and Huawei has yet to directly comment on the report.

“Cyber security remains Huawei’s top priority, and we will continue to actively improve our engineering processes and risk management systems,” a company spokesman said.

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro, and has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and ITProPortal.