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Belgium's biggest telecom provider hacked, NSA, GCHQ prime suspects

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 46959071
Belgium
09/17/2013 09:09 AM
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Belgium's biggest telecom provider hacked, NSA, GCHQ prime suspects
"Belgian telco Belgacom - which operates vital undersea communications cables - says its internal network was compromised, possibly by foreign spooks.

Phone and data connections from international hot spots, such as Syria and Yemen, pass through submarine fibre lines handled by Belgacom International Carrier Services (BICS).
"

and "BICS - a joint venture between Belgacom, Swisscom and South Africa’s MTN - provides wholesale carrier services to mobile and fixed-line telcos around the world. It is among a group of companies that run the TAT-14, SEA-ME-WE3 and SEA-ME-WE4 cables connecting the United States, UK, Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Singapore to the rest of the world."

from [link to www.theregister.co.uk]

"

Some more info:
[link to thehackerspost.com]

Belgian media:
[link to www.deredactie.be]
[link to www.standaard.be] (dutch summary)
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 46959071
Belgium
09/17/2013 04:00 PM
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Re: Belgium's biggest telecom provider hacked, NSA, GCHQ prime suspects
ok some more information:

Belgacom is belgium's biggest telecom company, with the government as biggest shareholder (so a semi state-owned company). In June they found out that there was malware in their internal computersystem.

Investigation followed and they discovered that it was an advanced persistent attack which needed a lot of hardware, resources etc. to set up. It was aimed to BICS. BICs is a joint venture that ownes big glass fibre cables between continents and has the majority in telephone communications in Africa and the Middle-East (their main target). By tapping those, they can get acces up to 50% of the communication that isn't accessible with the common eavesdropping methods. Thus everything seems to point to foreign espionage, which government has condemned. Belgacom went to the court with it.

Now the investigators of this hack are leaking themselves to press. They say that NSA and/or GCHQ (British espionage) are responsible for the hack. And some of the devices has been hacked since at least 2011.

You wouldn't tell, but today espionage in Belgium is bigger than it was in the cold war. Brussels, is also one of the main Spy capitals of Europe (and the world) and also a diplomatic capital of the world. In Brussel alone work [between 1500 and 2000 foreign journalists to cover European summits; approximately 15.000-20.000 lobbyists and with 279 diplomatic missions, 5.000 accredited diplomats and 60.000 people with a diplomatic or related statute their are a lot of ppossible targets.(source [link to www.targetbrussels.be]
and [link to euobserver.com] (some known cases)
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 34309673
Sweden
09/17/2013 04:09 PM
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Re: Belgium's biggest telecom provider hacked, NSA, GCHQ prime suspects
Fight fire with fire!