How To Make More 5G Technology Challenges Security Boundaries In Switzerland By Doing Less?

The new 5G technology (the fifth generation of mobile internet) is considered a security risk in many countries. But Switzerland is open despite fears over the power of Chinese supplier Huawei.

A dark but not impossible scenario: A hacker attacks a 5G antenna, sending harmful codes to millions of connected devices. The action collapses the transportation system and the power grid, completely paralyzing the city. The attack spreads to networks in other countries, globally reaching the internet network.

If full connectivity has many advantages, it also increases security risks. The  European Union’s 5G report on External Link, released last week, reiterated this point, stating that reliance on vital 5G network services causes major disruption to have particularly serious consequences for society.

“All technological change brings opportunities and risks,” says researcher Florian Egloff of the Center for Security Studies at the Federal Polytechnic School of Zurich (ETH).

Since no Swiss company can fully provide the infrastructure needed to install a 5G network, Egloff says the country should rely on “foreign technology providers.”

The Huawei Case

In the case of 5G, the foreign company capable of producing ” scale and cost External Link” all elements of a network is the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.

That picture raised fears that the Chinese government might use the technology to spy on other countries. The fear has sparked reactions ranging from the immediate ban in the United States or Australia to proposals to introduce new external link security standards in the European Union.

Warnings also echoed in Switzerland. Parliamentarians from various parties earlier this year questioned the risks of cooperation with Huawei. Switzerland has deployed hundreds of antennas 5G External linkin the country, making it one of the pioneers Link externalworld in the sector.

All three major telecommunications operators in the country (Salt, Sunrise and Swisscom) have won concessions to operate at 5G frequencies. All have Huawei equipment in their fixed and mobile networks. Sunrise even hired Huawei to provide its infrastructure.

The Swiss government says it takes security concerns seriously, but also acknowledges that it has its hands tied. A spokesman for the Federal Communications Department (BAKOM) told that “according to the existing legal basis, the government cannot influence telecom operators’ equipment purchasing policy.”

How does 5G technology work?

5G is the next generation of mobile wireless technology. It provides higher data speed, lower latency (better responsiveness) and the ability to simultaneously connect to more than one device. 5G is expected to become what some consider to be “the digital nervous system of external Link society “.

The new technology is expected to enable considerable advances in robotics and automation, augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and self-learning through a much larger and better device connection. Read HERE External linkmore information about 5G in Switzerland.

Who guarantees the security of 5G technology? Although the government is responsible for national security, legislation does not always keep pace with rapid technological changes.

For example, the Telecommunications Act includes a specific article External Linkon Cyber ​​Security, which obliges companies to combat any unauthorized use of their telecommunications equipment.

However, both the External Telecommunications and Data Protection Link Laws mention potential threats arising from contracts with foreign software or hardware vendors.

“The federal telecommunications law was developed at a time when foreign technology providers were not relevant,” explains Florian Roth, a lawyer at Walder Wyss.

The external link cyber security strategy also remains rather vague, leaving private groups responsible for implementing the measures, but they have not been specified, Roth adds.

The lawyer notes that the approach is typical of regulatory authorities. “It is very pragmatic because it often delegates to the market the obligation to specify which measures are appropriate.” As a result, much of the responsibility for network integrity rests with the major telecommunications companies.

There are currently no binding rules for these companies when using the hardware of foreign providers. There is also no legal obligation to report security breaches unless they cause serious disruption to the service or network. That may change with the new Data Protection Act, but it has no date yet to go into effect.

Both Swisscom and Sunrise are committed to assessing risks in cooperating with suppliers and monitoring threats. In addition, they also communicate to the government when they occur. Sunrise also indicated that Huawei supplies and operates the systems, but the data itself remains with the company.

Swisscom, a state-owned company, points out that it has clauses in its contracts with suppliers that allow their termination. Projects also have deadlines, usually revised and re-edited after five or ten years. The company also regularly publishes an external link cyber security report .

However, some experts criticize the measures applied. A big issue concerns the so-called ” External Link backdoors “: hidden remote access points that can be exploited to gain control of a device.


UrsSchaeppi answers questions regarding 5G technology. The European Union report states that because 5G networks operate primarily through software, security holes could facilitate the entry of malicious programs through intentional backdoors into hard-to-detect products.

According to the cybersecurity point in the Telecommunications Act, the government requires operators not to check for physical access and backdoors in the hardware and software used.

A BAKOM spokesman justified the official position for the sake of feasibility: “It is often not possible for telecommunication companies to check these issues as the customer’s computer is located at home or elsewhere.”

Sunrise stated that “since the first allegations of US politicians against Huawei, no irregularities have been detected in the Chinese company’s equipment or software or suggest evidence supporting the allegations made against the Chinese.” The spokesman added hat the company does not plan to change technology providers.

More Tests and Controls

Concrete reliance on foreign suppliers to build a 5G infrastructure has led many countries to take precautions. While the US and Australia have blacklisted Huawei, the European Union has adopted new external link measures .

Britain required operators to enforce stronger security tests and controls, especially when cooperating with high-risk companies. The prime minister requires special permits from operators interested in working on 5G network projects.

Some carriers are also more cautious about signing contracts with Huawei. Norwegian Telia has announced External Linkhas recently chosen Ericsson as its supplier over Huawei for its 5G project. The Swedish government was quick to say that it did not order the company to reject the Chinese.

Huawei refutes any suspected espionage at the request of the Chinese government. The Chinese company offers “guarantees” to various governments, as recently happened with Poland.

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