The Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant is published Report He explains that Chinese tech company Huawei could have accessed the KPN mobile network in the past, and it could eavesdrop on all conversations.
According to the newspaper, Huawei was able at that time to eavesdrop on cell phone numbers from the telecom provider.
This also included the phones of then-Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and several Chinese ministers and dissidents.
Huawei also knew numbers that had been wiretapped by Dutch police and intelligence services.
Huawei says it has never acted inappropriately by abusing its location in the Netherlands, and this applies to Huawei employees who have been hired by KPN to support its activities.
She added: Huawei employees did not have unauthorized access to KPN’s network and data, did not extract data from that network, and we worked at all times under the express permission of KPN.
KPN said, in response: It had no indication that the lines were tapped or that customer data had been stolen, and if that had happened, it would have informed the relevant authorities and customers.
KPN used Huawei’s technology in 2009, and six Chinese employees worked for the company at the then head office in The Hague.
That year, the telecom provider asked Capgemini researchers to analyze any risks associated with Huawei and how the Chinese company behaved within KPN.
Local security service AIVD had warned KPN several times about the dangers of Huawei spying, and the conclusions turned out to be so disturbing that the internal report was kept confidential.
De Volkskrant quotes the report: KPN’s continued existence is in grave danger as the permits may be revoked or the government and companies may give up their trust in KPN if it becomes known that the Chinese government can eavesdrop on KPN phone numbers and shut down the network.
The Dutch mobile network KPN had 6.5 million subscribers at the time.
Capgemini’s report stated that Huawei employees, from within KPN buildings and from China, could eavesdrop on unauthorized, uncensored, and unlimited KPN phone numbers.
The company gained unauthorized access to the core of the mobile phone network from China, and it is unclear how many times this has happened because it has not been recorded anywhere.
Based on the Capgemini report, KPN decided to refrain from outsourcing the complete maintenance of the mobile backbone network, and the carrier is turning to Western suppliers to maintain its mobile backbone network.
De Volkskrant reported last month that the Chinese company also had unlimited access to customer data for KPN affiliate Telfort, and Huawei denied at the time that its employees had acted unethically at any time.