UK spying agency targets Belgian telecoms workers
Iran Press TV
Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:24AM GMT
A report shows the British spying agency, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), has targeted employees of a Belgian mobile communications company to gain access to their company networks.
On Monday, German weekly Der Spiegel reported that the GCHQ targeted employees at Belgium's state-owned telecoms firm Belgacom as well as billing companies; Comfone and Mach, which have key roles in international communications networks.
The report was based on leaked documents by US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden.
According to the report, the British spying agency found out which Belgacom employees used the networking site LinkedIn.
The agency then created copies of LinkedIn pages, which were identical from the originals but secretly infected the user's computer with malware.
The malware, which was installed by a process known as 'Quantam Insert', allowed the GCHQ access to the company's internal networks and to its subsidiary BICS.
By infiltrating the telecommunications companies, the British spying agency was able to gather detailed information about individuals of interest.
The new revelations come only one week after Germany summoned the British ambassador to Berlin after reports emerged that the GCHQ had spied expensively on the country.
On November 4, a report by London-based The Independent newspaper, citing Snowden leaks, showed that Britain hasdset up a "spy nest" in the German capital.
The leaked documents revealed that the spy base had been used to intercept Germany's parliament and Angela Merkel's offices in the Chancellery, using hi-tech equipment placed on the roof of the embassy building.
Earlier reports by The Guardian had disclosed joint spying practices of theGCHQ and its American counterpart, the National Security Agency (NSA).
According to the reports, the GCHQ has secretly accessed millions of phone calls and electronic communications, using the NSA's Tempora program to circumvent UK law.
In June, Snowden leaked two top secret US government spying programs, which revealed that the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had been eavesdropping on millions of American and European phone records and the Internet data from major Internet companies such as Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Apple, and Microsoft.
The NSA scandal took even broader dimensions when Snowden revealed information about the organization's espionage activities targeting friendly countries.
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