The government of the United Kingdom is concerned over Huawei's use of select American software and the security risks associated with that decision, Reuters reports, citing several sources familiar with the matter. Last month, London's Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Center published a report that downgraded its recommendation of the continued use of Huawei-made equipment for the government's critical infrastructure, raising concerns about "shortcomings in Huawei's engineering processes," as well as issues related to its supply chain, both of which may create additional security risks for the European country.
What the report didn't mention is that one of the main issues identified by its authors was Huawei's use of the VxWorks operating system, a software developed by California-based Wind River Systems that will stop receiving security patches in 2020 despite the fact that it's powering Huawei's equipment that's planned to be in operation long thereafter, insiders claim. An outdated OS is likely to leave the company's network solutions more vulnerable to attackers in a matter of months as hackers are continuously making their penetration practices more sophisticated. The report didn't outright name VxWorks but highlighted a broader concern about third-party software tools whose end-of-life dates are significantly shorter to those Huawei attaches to some of its component boards that utilize them.
VxWorks itself isn't believed to be a security risk and the investigators still believe its planned usage roadmap may have been unintentionally left too long. Wind River Systems is offering upgrade paths to newer software to its customers, a company spokesperson told Reuters. In a statement provided to AndroidHeadlines last month, Huawei downplayed the concerns raised by the July report but still vowed to address them in the immediate future, stating that digital security remains one of its top product priorities. The governments of the United States and Australia recently accused the firm of posing a national security risk due to its close ties to China that could see it be used as a spying tool by Beijing, with Huawei repeatedly denying that notion as baseless.