Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) on Beijing’s spy campaigns against the Asia-Pacific region published a 65-page report that says Huawei Technologies Company built a data center in Papua New Guinea that left sensitive government files open to cyber theft. Australian Financial Review wrote that the report was presented to the Australian government earlier this year. The Port Moresby data center was funded with a US$53 million development loan from China’s Exim Bank and started operations in 2018.
The firewall reached the end of life in 2016
Papua New Guinea’s National Cyber Security Centre, which is funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) commissioned the report. “Core switches are not behind firewalls. This means remote access would not be detected by security settings within the appliances. The algorithm used to encrypt communications was considered openly broken by cybersecurity analysts two years before being installed by Huawei at the center. The Huawei firewalls employed in the Port Moresby facility reached their end life in 2016”, according to the report.
On the other hand, because of the lack of funding for operations and maintenance, the data center fell into disrepair, which meant that many of the government departments did not move their data into the center as originally planned.
The Financial Review reported that Port Moresby asked the Australian government for funds to get the data center operational again, which led to the report being commissioned, reported. Canberra has not yet approved the request for funds.