Peter Dutton accuses Chinese telecom giant Huawei of helping Russia fend off Western cyberattacks in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine
- Russia has faced sustained cyber attacks since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine
- Chinese telco Huawei is reportedly helping Russia to keep internet working
- Peter Dutton said reports of Chinese co-operation were ‘deeply concerning’
Peter Dutton has described reports that Huawei is helping Russia after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as ‘deeply concerning’.
Reports in China say the tech giant, which is the fourth largest mobile seller in Australia, has been helping Putin’s efforts to stabilise Russia’s internet network after it came under attack from hacker groups across the globe.
Defence Minister Peter Dutton – who has accused Russia and China of forming an ‘unholy alliance’ – said Beijing could help bring an end to the war if it stopped refusing to condemn Russia and blasted Huawei’s apparent intervention.
Peter Dutton has described reports that Huawei is helping Russia after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as ‘deeply concerning’. Pictured: Putin and President Xi last year
Pro-Russian separatists, in uniforms without insignia, are seen in Donetsk, Ukraine on March 6
‘In fact, we’re seeing reports today that Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications company, is providing support to Russia to keep their internet up,’ he told ABC Adelaide on Monday.
Mr Dutton said the reports were ‘deeply concerning’ when ‘every other responsible country in the world is looking at ways that they can sanction and stop trading with Russia’.
Russian government and media websites have faced repeated disruption from suspected cyber attacks by groups targeting the state since the invasion of Ukraine.
Last week Russian media sites were hacked by a group claiming to belong to the Anonymous hackers network and replaced pages with a ‘tombstone’ in honour of the war dead.
Huawei, which reportedly has five research centres in Russia, is said to have ‘rushed to Russia’s aid’ to support its internet network in the face of the attacks.
Reports in China say tech giant Huawei has been helping Vladimir Putin’s efforts to stabilise Russia’s internet network after it came under attack from hacker groups across the globe. Pictured: Huawei logo illuminated outside at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona
It added that the firm expects to expand ‘to cutting-edge fields such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and face recognition’.
Chinese companies are in fear of secondary sanctions from the US if they are found to be helping Russian companies evade sanctions.
Huawei has been badly hit by US sanctions, introduced in 2019 over national security fears, and has been banned from providing equipment for Australia’s 5G network since 2018.
Huawei did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.
A report, which appeared on a Chinese news site but was later deleted, claimed that Huawei would use its research centres to train ‘50,000 technical experts in Russia’.
Huawei, which reportedly has five research centres in Russia, is said to have ‘rushed to Russia’s aid’ to support its internet network in the face of the attacks. Pictured: Putin during a meeting on February 24