Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

GCHQ behind 2013 Belgacom hacking?

The Federal Judicial Authorities have almost finished their investigation into the hacking of the partly state-owned telecom operator Belgacom (now known as Proximus) in 2013. The financial daily ‘De Tijd’ reports that a confidential report on the hacking that the Judicial Authority have given to the Justice Minister Koen Geens (Flemish Christian democrat contains indications that the British intelligence and security organisation GCHQ was behind the hacking.    

The hacking cost what was then Belgacom 50 million euro in extra investment in security for its IT system and also resulted in damage to the telecom operator’s reputation. 

The target of the hacking were the GRX routers between Belgacom and BICS, a subsidiary that provides wholesale carrier services to wireline and wireless operators and service providers globally. The routers provide access to information about smartphone communications that occur via roaming.

The computers of key figures at Belgium that were responsible for the security and the maintenance of the IT system were hacked. Mr Geens is remaining tight-lipped and will only say that he will present the Federal Judicial Authorities report to the National Security Council. The Federal Judicial Authorities have also refused to comment.

According to the information published in ‘De Tijd’, the Federal Judicial Authorities have told the Minister that no one will be prosecuted as there is insufficient evidence against specific individuals.  

Nevertheless, the report sums up all the evidence that points towards GCHQ having been behind the hacking.