Belgium — State-Owned Telecom Giant Hacked by British Intelligence on Behalf of the US

“We will take the appropriate steps if the high-level involvement of a foreign country is confirmed.”

Elio di Rupo — Then Belgian Prime Minister (September 2013)

“Meanwhile the prosecutor’s office is reported to have advised the minister that the case has to be dropped, since there is a lack of admissible evidence to be able to make criminal accusations against particular individuals. Other political or diplomatic moves are a matter for the two governments, and are unlikely ever to be made public.”

Alan Hope — The Brussels Times (September 21 2018)

BRUSSELS (September 20 2018) – A confidential report by Belgian investigators has concluded that British intelligence services hacked state-owned Belgian telecom giant Belgacom (Today renamed PROXIMUS) on behalf of Washington. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_Today

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The most important target of GCHQ’s hacking was certainly the Belgian company’s BICS unit, which handles huge volumes of phone and data traffic in Africa and the Middle East, as well as European customers that included European Union institutions.

The matter will now be discussed within Belgium’s National Security Council, which includes the Belgian Prime Minister with top security ministers and officials.

For now, the Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office and the cabinet of Minister Geens refused to comment.

Although I never wrote about this event, I had informed you that GCHQ was indeed the culprit of this hacking operation.

Flashback

In a story regarding the hacking of Brussels Airport in the aftermath of the 2016 terrorist attacks, I explained the following.

The Belgian Telecom companies were unable to cope with the surge in traffic during the tragedy. Despite a Parliamentary investigation, no satisfactory explanation has been provided for this failure.

Belgium’s largest telecommunications provider, Belgacom — now Proximus — has been hacked by at least one Intelligence Agency.

Documents from National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden confirmed that British surveillance agency Government Communications Headquarters was behind a very sophisticated attack, codenamed ‘Operation Socialist’. The operation began in 2012.

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Two years ago, in a post regarding the hacking of the French Presidential Palace by the NSA, I told you how it had been done.

‘Quantum Insert’ has been used to hack the machines. This type of attacks was used in the GCHQ/NSA operation against employees of the Belgian Telecom Belgacom, renamed Proximus today.

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Finally, in a piece that exposes many of the unanswered question regarding the terrorist attacks in Brussels, I suggested that the CEO of Proximus (ex Belgacom) had not been honest during the parliamentary investigation.

And, by the way, you may also wonder why the main Belgian Telecom operator — PROXIMUS — was unable to cope with the heavy traffic on that day? Officially, the CEO of that company told a Parliament Commission that an environmental law limiting the power of GSM antennas was to be blamed for the lack of capacity. It is a lie. In truth, PROXIMUS was hit by a ‘technical problem’ in the morning of the attacks. Bad luck?

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Interestingly, Elio di Rupo, the Belgian Prime Minister at the time of the hacking, was convinced that the Belgian Intelligence Agencies had actually participate in this operation.

In Belgium, politicians never fight their intelligence community or the Telecom companies. They are well aware that it would be suicidal to do so. There will be no consequences whatsoever. Forget about it. The national soccer team is doing so well!

REFERENCES

Belgian probe implicates Britain in phone spying — France 24

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Belgium — State-Owned Telecom Giant Hacked by British Intelligence on Behalf of the US

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