Belgians seek response over claims GCHQ hacked telecoms firm
GCHQ has been accused of hacking the IT systems of telecoms provider Belgacom
Britain has been asked by Belgium to respond to claims GCHQ hacked in the IT network of Belgian telecoms provider Belgacom.
Federal prosecutors said in September they were investigating suspected foreign state espionage against Belgacom, the dominant telecoms provider in Belgium and also a top carrier of voice traffic in Africa and the Middle East.
German magazine Der Spiegel reported later that the British electronic surveillance agency GCHQ had placed a virus in Belgacom's network.
"Following the article in Der Spiegel the government asked Belgian intelligence services to ask their British colleagues for more information," a source close to the government said.
A GCHQ spokeswoman said: "We are not making any comment."
Belgacom said at a hearing before the European Parliament yesterday evening that it had removed the virus from its systems and that an investigation into who was responsible was ongoing.
A representative of GCHQ was scheduled to speak at the same hearing but did not appear.
At the time the incident came to light, federal prosecutors said in a statement that the former state telecoms monopoly Belgacom had filed a complaint in July about the hacking of several servers and computers.
"The inquiry has shown that the hacking was only possible by an intruder with significant financial and logistic means," they said.
"This fact, combined with the technical complexity of the hacking and the scale on which it occurred, points towards international state-sponsored cyber espionage."
Prosecutors said the intruder had used malicious software and advanced encryption techniques with the aim of gathering strategic information, and had not sabotaged Belgacom's data or sought to cause direct economic damage.
"Climate change in Antarctica is leading to interest in extracting the region's natural resources, but there's the small matter of a treaty."
- First sun-powered hydrogen refuelling station opens in UK
- Offshore windfarm scaled back due to low subsidy budget
- New software to investigate Alzheimer's detection
- Mobile data more accurate than census, says study
- One atom thin material turns motion into electricity
- Watershed moment for wearables this Christmas, says Samsung
- What to Specialise in Electronics Engineering?? [03:02 am 03/04/14]
- Britain to have just one remaining coal pit by the end of 2015 [01:11 am 03/04/14]
- LV Generator Star point earthing - UK [08:35 pm 02/04/14]
- East West Rail - the Oxford to Bedford route [07:33 pm 02/04/14]
- Small nuclear power [06:06 pm 02/04/14]
The essential source of engineering products and suppliers.
Tune into our latest podcast