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NSA’s Jon Darby Warns of Cyber Vulnerabilities Linked to Chinese 5G

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Jon Darby, director of operations at the National Security Agency, said China’s potential use of 5G technology for cyber warfare could be a cause for concern for U.S. networks, the Washington Business Journal reported Friday. “It’s not about a smoking gun — it’s about a loaded gun,” Darby said of cyber vulnerabilities associated with China’s 5G networks.

“If you look at what 5G offers in terms of capabilities, there’s a lot of power in that particular technology,” Darby said Thursday during the University of Maryland Cybersecurity Executive Summit. “I think it’s more about that connection: a government entity that’s hostile or has [aims] that are different than the United States, and a record of acting that way. Why would we give them that capability or make it easy?”

Darby noted there are ongoing talks about the development of a “whole of government strategy” for 5G networks as some U.S. allies continue allowing Chinese telecommunications firms like Huawei Technologies to compete for 5G spectrum contracts.

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