Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Mobile Security //

Cellular Network

1/30/2018
08:05 AM
Scott Ferguson
Scott Ferguson
News Analysis-Security Now
50%
50%

Trump's 5G Nationalization Plan: Is It Good for Security?

The Trump administration has floated a plan to nationalize 5G networks as a security precaution against China, but it's been met with confusion.

The Trump administration's latest efforts to bolster the nation's cybersecurity took an unusual twist this week after published reports surfaced about a plan to nationalize the country's 5G network.

The plan, which was first reported by Axios, would have the government pay for 5G network development as a bulwark against China and a way to ensure national security. (See Unknown Document 740095.)

But if the Trump administration and the National Security Council, which actually drafted the plan, felt they had a reasonable case to make for nationalization, critics were quick to respond with a heavy dose of skepticism. Detractors emerged not only from the telecom industry, but from the security field as well. (See Unknown Document 740107)

On Twitter, there was plenty of discussion about how impractical building a nationalized 5G network would be:

 

Almost immediately after the Axios report surfaced, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai, who supported the administration's net neutrality plans, also released a statement declaring that the private sector, not the government, should make decisions about 5G, even if there is a security component to consider.

"Any federal effort to construct a nationalized 5G network would be a costly and counterproductive distraction from the policies we need to help the United States win the 5G future," Pai wrote.

CTIA, which represents the wireless industry, issued a similar statement: "The wireless industry agrees that winning the race to 5G is a national priority. The government should pursue the free market policies that enabled the U.S. wireless industry to win the race to 4G."

The main thrust of the nationalization plan is to protect US businesses from Chinese competition, as well as to secure 5G infrastructure from cyberattacks, especially as 5G becomes critical to developments ranging from autonomous and connected cars to broader artificial intelligence applications. (See Unknown Document 740117.)


The fundamentals of network security are being redefined -- don't get left in the dark by a DDoS attack! Join us in Austin from May 14-16 at the fifth-annual Big Communications Event. There's still time to register and communications service providers get in free!

 

"A PowerPoint slide says the play is the digital counter to China's One Belt One Road Initiative meant to spread its influence beyond its borders," according to the Axios report. "The documents also fret about China's dominance of Artificial Intelligence, and use that as part of the rationale for this unprecedented proposal."

In an email to Security Now, Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, noted that the US has a bad track record of nationalizing these types of services.

In addition, the federal government, especially the military, already has its own private communications networks to help protect against cyberattacks, so building a whole network that has private and public uses would not actually help.

"In the short term, there are benefits of shared risk and investment but in the long run, natural market forces are the right way to go as competition weeds out economic anomalies," Moorhead wrote in the email. "I can see the government building a private network for the military to ensure a higher probability of it not getting hacked, but not for the public use. What many people don’t know is that the government already has a few, private networks of its own."

Related posts:

— Scott Ferguson, Editor, Enterprise Cloud News. Follow him on Twitter @sferguson_LR.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 9/25/2020
9 Tips to Prepare for the Future of Cloud & Network Security
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  9/28/2020
Vulnerability Disclosure Programs See Signups & Payouts Surge
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  9/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-15216
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-29
In goxmldsig (XML Digital Signatures implemented in pure Go) before version 1.1.0, with a carefully crafted XML file, an attacker can completely bypass signature validation and pass off an altered file as a signed one. A patch is available, all users of goxmldsig should upgrade to at least revisio...
CVE-2020-4607
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-29
IBM Security Secret Server (IBM Security Verify Privilege Vault Remote 1.2 ) could allow a local user to bypass security restrictions due to improper input validation. IBM X-Force ID: 184884.
CVE-2020-24565
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-29
An out-of-bounds read information disclosure vulnerabilities in Trend Micro Apex One may allow a local attacker to disclose sensitive information to an unprivileged account on vulnerable installations of the product. An attacker must first obtain the ability to execute low-privileged code on the ...
CVE-2020-25770
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-29
An out-of-bounds read information disclosure vulnerabilities in Trend Micro Apex One may allow a local attacker to disclose sensitive information to an unprivileged account on vulnerable installations of the product. An attacker must first obtain the ability to execute low-privileged code on the ...
CVE-2020-25771
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-29
An out-of-bounds read information disclosure vulnerabilities in Trend Micro Apex One may allow a local attacker to disclose sensitive information to an unprivileged account on vulnerable installations of the product. An attacker must first obtain the ability to execute low-privileged code on the ...