Did the Chinese hackers put an end to Nortel?
Nortel was once the world's leader in wireless technology. Then there was a hacker attack, followed by the rise of Huawei. For some, this isn't a coincidence.
When confidential documents arrived in China, the calendars showed at 8:48 a.m. on Saturday, April 2004. Nearly 800 of the documents included PowerPoint presentations of customer meetings, analysis of losses from recent sales, details of the design of the American communications network. The rest were technical documents, including the source code, which was very sensitive information from Nortel Networks, one of the largest companies in the world at the time.
Bright minds have preferred Nortel
The Canadian-based telecommunications equipment company employed 90,000 people in its brightest period in 2000, with a market value of $367 billion (about $250 billion at the time) and a Canadian stock exchange index of TSE 300. This amounted to more than 35%.
The company, which dominates the market for fiber optic data transmission systems, invented the iPhone wireless touch screen device nearly a decade ago and held thousands of fiber optic and wireless patents under its control. The company, which managed to attract the brightest encoders from all over the world, let alone the loss of its promising best engineers to Silicon Valley, seemed to help lay the groundwork for the next generation of wireless networks known as 4 G and 5G.
Nortel did not hear the warnings!
Of course, all this magnificence didn't take long to make it a target. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the CIA version of the country, began in the late 1990s.
He spoke of the existence of "unusual traffic," arguing that hackers in China had stolen data and documents from Ottawa. "We visited Nortel in Ottawa and told top executives, 'They're releasing your intellectual property,' said Michel Juneau-Katsuya, head of the Asia-Pacific division of the Agency. They've done nothing.
It is claimed that the hackers infiltrated the accounts of Nortel's top people until 2004. The person who sent around 800 documents to China is none other than the CEO of Nortel, Frank Dunn. Indeed, four days before Dunn 's dismissal due to an accounting scandal in his job, someone who used his login information transferred PowerPoints and other sensitive files to an IP address registered in Shanghai Faxian Corp., a dummy company with no known commercial agreement with Nortel.
It's not Dunn himself, of course, who steals the information. Hackers have stolen 6 precious units of passwords that Nortel and the company have invested billions of dollars in. Hackers used a script called 'Il.browse' to sweep all categories from Nortel 's systems. These are referred to as 'Product Development,' 'Research and Development,' 'Design Documents and Minutes' and more. "They were sweeping the entire contents of the folder as if they were being bought with a vacuum cleaner," said Brian Shields, who was part of a five-person team that was a senior system security consultant and was investigating the security breach at that time.
Nortel was unable to provide the necessary response to the attack.
When Shields looks back on the hacking attack years later, Nortel's failure to respond to this event sees the beginning of the end of the company. According to Shields, Nortel has never tried to determine how identity information has been stolen, perhaps because of the arrogance of being a market leader, or because of many other failures. He just changed the passwords, and according to the guesses, the attacks went on. Eventually , the company went bankrupt in 2009.
Nortel 'does not know who hacked or who the data is being transferred to in China. However, Shields and many of those who examined the incident have a strong suspicion that the Chinese government is behind the attack. According to these doubts, the Chinese government has brought its technology giants to the fore, including telecommunications equipment giant Huawei, while weakening a major Western rival. Huawei, on the other hand, maintains that Nortel did not know that it had been hacked or that there were no geniuses in these attacks. He also claims that he has never received any information from Nortel. "The allegations that Huawei is aware of the espionage issue or any interference with the incident are completely wrong," the company said in a statement.
Huawei is on the increase
One thing is for sure, that Nortel was attacked, and the time Huawei was attacked. While Nortel struggled to survive, Huawei evolved as it evolved thanks to its unique structure; benefited from the generous loans offered by state banks and developed the ability to learn from their losses for years before earning money from their products.
It snatched Nortel 's largest customers and eventually hired researchers to lead 5 G networks. According to Shields, there is a fairly simple explanation for this situation: "Economic espionage has been done in Nortel. Which company has taken the number one position in the world and it is necessary to see how quickly this has been achieved.