Worried US Nuke Lab Ditches Chinese Parts

Computer components were made by Huawei-affiliated company
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2013 11:13 AM CST
Worried US Nuke Lab Ditches Chinese Parts
The Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, NM.   (AP Photo/Los Alamos National Laboratory, File)

In a national security move, a top US nuclear facility has replaced at least two computer parts after learning that they were Chinese-made. The systems at Los Alamos National Laboratory, which maintains our nuclear weapon stockpile, used some network switches created by China-based H3C; the switches control data flow. H3C began as a joint project of Huawei Technologies and the US firm 3Com. US officials have cited possible links between Huawei and China's military—ties that the giant telecommunications manufacturer denies, Reuters notes.

Hewlett-Packard now owns H3C, though the company's website calls Huawei a "global strategic partner." A Nov. 5 letter written by a top Los Alamos official to the Energy Department's nuclear security arm and obtained by Reuters explains that after noting that H3C equipment was "beginning to be installed in" the facility's systems, an investigation with a focus on "sensitive networks" ensued, and two devices were replaced. The lab is now working on "replacing any remaining H3C network switch devices as quickly as possible." But a US-based Huawei exec says that "there has never been a shred of substantive proof that Huawei gear is any less secure than that of our competitors." (Read more nuclear weapons stories.)

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