Cybersecurity concerns over Chinese products spread to drones

There’s been a great deal of discussion in the media over the last few days regarding the decision to award part of the 5G infrastructure deployment in the UK to Huawei.  This has sparked outrage from opponents to this decision based on cybersecurity concerns.

Huawei’s equipment will ultimately be banned from centralised portions of the 5G infrastructure that route data across the network, sensitive locations near military bases and nuclear installations. They will only be allowed to provide peripheral equipment that is viewed as less of a security risk. It also limits the Huawei market share of the of the overall 5G mobile infrastructure to 35%.

And in the same week is the concern of Chinese cybersecurity related to drones in the US.

The Department of Interior has issued an order that temporarily grounds the agency’s fleet of nonemergency drones, citing cybersecurity concerns.  Interior Secretary David Bernhardt signed the order today that applies to all agency drone aircraft except for those used in emergencies, such as firefighting, natural disasters and search-and-rescue missions.

Supply chain issues for products manufactured in China have been a point of review in the Senate for the past year. An ongoing review of the drone program led to this decision. According to a Wall Street Journal report from Oct. 2019, The Department of Interior had initially grounded its drone fleet due to concerns over risks from Chinese manufacturers.

It will be interesting to see what the next topic is that comes into review based on these concerns.