Papua New Guinea's National Data Centre, completed by Chinese tech firm Huawei in 2018, is marred by a variety of cyber security issues, exposing government's secret data to spying by threat actors.
That's according to a 2019 report commissioned by PNG's National Cyber Security Centre and authored by a cyber security expert hired by Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
The report notes that the outdated encryption software used by Huawei in the Port Moresby data centre could allow threat actors to intercept the data flows. It also states that the firewalls deployed by Huawei are not adequate for a data centre designed to keep the entire data archive of the government.
The firewalls used in the centre had already reached their "end of life" in 2016 - two years before the centre became operational.
"Core switches are not behind firewalls. This means remote access would not be detected by security settings within the appliances," the report said, according to AFR.
In a statement to AFR, Huawei said that the project "complies with appropriate industry standards and the requirements of the customer."
The centre, which began operating before the APEC leaders meeting in November 2018, was funded through a $US53 million loan from China's Exim Bank.
It is currently in poor condition, the report claims, because of lack of funds for maintenance and operations. Software licences have expired, while batteries that had degraded were never replaced.
PNG government is now seeking assistance from the Australian government to upgrade the centre. Canberra has not yet provided financial funding for the centre, and report notes that the centre may require a "full rebuild".
The National Cyber Security Centre's report on Huawei is expected to increase pressure on the Chinese firm, which currently faces intense scrutiny in western countries over its ties with the Chinese government.
The company has already been banned in the US, Britain, Australia and France from participating in 5G infrastructure projects.
The US and its allies are concerned about China's efforts to extend its influence among developing countries in the Pacific by offering cheap loans for major infrastructure projects.
In 2018, PNG government had turned down offers from Western countries to build its internet infrastructure, saying it will uphold its previous agreement with Huawei.
The announcement was seen a blow to the US and Australia, who had been trying to persuade PNG to dump Huawei as part of their efforts to limit Beijing's influence in the region.
William Duma, PNG Minister of State Investment, said at that time that his country does not have enemies, and the government was not worried about the security concerns over use of Huawei equipment in country's telecommunication infrastructure.
Smaug RaaS makes it easy for threat actors to use ransomware to achieve their objectives
Attackers could use the bugs to listen to audio in a device's surroundings, monitor a user's location and exfiltrate sensitive information
Satellite internet service providers are still vulnerable to attack methods discovered nearly 15 years ago
Protocol gateways are critical to enabling Industry 4.0, and Trend Micro has found critical weaknesses in how they operate
An actively supported OS provide the best way to mitigate the risks arising due to newly discovered security bugs, it says