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“T

he race for 5G is

whether the United States lags

Most cyberattacks don’t come from

on, and America

behind China in its 5G deployment.

compromised foreign products;

must win.” Trump

The effects of 5G security by hackers will bring new cyber security and hacking dangers, depending on how it’s used.

instead they exploit known but

announced last week, announcing new federal initiatives to speed the deployment of 5G networks. 5G is the platform for tomorrow’s economy, transforming “everything from education to AI to medicine, but it comes with security risks.

U.S. and worldwide infrastructure and current telecommunications is as vulnerable as 5G and is vulnerable

Will banning components made by

to espionage and cyberattacks, for

Huawei mitigate those risks?

example “disruption of a natural gas

5G is an evolutionary — not revolutionary — it an advance in technology. •

5G (“fifth generation”) communications standards will extend rather than replace the current 4G infrastructure.

5G protocols can improve three kinds of applications.

pipeline for days to weeks,” 5G may be more secure than 4G.

The danger is that 5G will control massive numbers of machines — including autonomous vehicles, factory processes and much more. This means that hackers could exploit

persistent vulnerabilities, such as unpatched software and people who are easily phished. Strategies that focus solely on nations and organizations that may pose a threat, while neglecting the social and technical vulnerabilities that attackers exploit, will inevitably fail. The 5G hype might obscure the full range of technological options — as well as the full range of potential security threats and vulnerabilities in an increasingly wired and wireless world. It is short-sighted in having a blanket ban of Huawei 5G products in Australia and worldwide and here’s why...

vulnerabilities in 5G or the equipment •

5G can bring better speed and

used to control such systems, doing

It’s not about China hacking into

reliability to mobile broadband,

much more damage than is now

networks - it’s about anybody

possible.

hacking into networks. One needs

More reliable reliability and low

to get the best minds and protocols

latency (i.e., fast response time) in

Imagine, for example, hacked

communication

driverless vehicles creating massive

Enables communication between myriad machines (Internet of Things) providing online control over door locks, lighting, thermostats, cars and literally everything

pileups on U.S. highways.

Banning Huawei and ZTE will not decrease the security risk of 5G security hacks in fact it would do the opposite

Huawei Chairman Eric Xu recently

Finland’s Nokia and Sweden’s

argued that most consumers would

Ericsson — manufacture equipment

notice “no material difference

in Chinese factories with partners

between” 4G and 5G technologies.

linked to the Chinese Communist

Many U.S. tech experts share this view, arguing that it doesn’t matter

Party, so deploying 5G without some dependence on Chinese suppliers is difficult.

working together to build security. Huawei is a major player and should be part of the global team working together with global protocols. About the author Rebecca Slayton is an associate professor at the Department of Science & Technology Studies and director of the Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, both at Cornell University.)

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