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British Spies Hacked Telecom Network by Luring Engineers to Fake LinkedIn Pages
From: InfoSec News <alerts () infosecnews org>
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 2013 06:52:43 +0000 (UTC)


By Kim Zetter
Threat Level

British spies hacked into the routers and networks of a Belgian telecommunications company by tricking telecom engineers into clicking on malicious LinkedIn and Slashdot pages, according to documents released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Once engineers with Belgacom clicked on the fake pages, malware was installed surreptitiously onto their machines, giving the spooks with Britain's GCHQ the ability to penetrate the internal networks of Belgacom and its subsidiary BICS.

The primary aim, reports the German newspaper der Spiegel, which obtained the documents, was to compromise the GRX router system that BICS controlled, in order to intercept mobile phone traffic that got transmitted by the router.

The elaborate scheme, dubbed "Operation Socialist," involved first identifying key telecom administrators and members of computer security teams who likely had access to sensitive parts of the Belgacom network. The spies then produced a dossier of the targets' email addresses, social networking accounts and online reading habits using open source information that the employees freely provided online.


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