The problem with 5G is 5G
Forget Huawei and China.
The security risks inherent in “Made in China” 5G networking equipment are easy to understand, says security Guru Bruce Schneier. As is the fact that “the geopolitics of 5G [involve] alot more than security [because] China is subsidizing the purchase of its companies” networking equipment in countries around the world”. However, Schneier continues, “China Isn’t the Only Problem With 5G”. Nor it is the biggest one. Far from it.
The reason is that 5G has, in and by itself, three intrinsical serious kind of security problems, all explained in detail by Schneier, all plagued by the same issue. Namely, they are all problems that would not change in the slightest even if China or its telecom manufacturers did not exist:
- the 5G standards are simply too complex to implement securely: *”[The architecture of 5G networks] dramatically increases the points vulnerable to attack, as does the expected massive increase in both things connected to the network and the data flying about it””
- there’s so much backward compatibility built into the 5G network that older vulnerabilities of the current networks remain
- many of the new security features in 5G are optional, and network operators can choose not to implement them
The main problem of 5G is not China
In other words, the problem is not who makes 5G infrastructures, or provides 5G services. It’s the design itself of those infrastructures and services. And the (not) funniest thing is that all this is just the security side of 5G’s intrinsical problems.
Of course, be it security, lack of demand or physical impossibility, the reasons of the problem are obvious. Quoting Schneier:
“market forces that prioritize costs over security and of governments, including the United States, that want to preserve the option of surveillance in 5G networks”.