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Belgacom, Largest Telecom in Belgium, Compromised

HELP NET SECURITY reported on 16th September, 2013 stating that Belgacom which is primarily state owned and largest telecom in Belgium, has announced that its internal IT systems have been breached and compromised with malware by an "unknown third party".

They said "During a thorough investigation of a digital intrusion, we have discovered an unknown virus in many units in our internal IT system and decided to clean up the entire system to eliminate this virus effectively". They added that the operation was well prepared and has been executed successfully.

They made sure that there is no sign of any impact on the consumers or their data and the delivery of their telecommunication services has not been compromised at any point.

They said that the computer virus has been discovered in the internal system of computers of Belgacom and not in its telecommunication network. Having removed all instances of it, the employees of the company were asked to change their password.

CEO of the company said in a press conference that he had no idea how long the malware had been present in the network. But threatpost.com published news on 16th September, 2013 quoting reports stating that the intrusion had been active for two years by the time Belgian company discovered it.

Belgacom has declined to name the culprit saying it's up to the authorities to give clarifications.

Softpedia.com reported on 16th September, 2013 quoting Federal Prosecutor of Belgium as saying that the attack was extremely sophisticated and emerges to be the job of a state-sponsored body.

The malware employed in the hacking of Belgacom is designed to accumulate tactical information and not to cause any harm.

Dutch website 'NRC.nl' reports that the chief suspects are the UK's Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) and the US's National Security Agency (NSA).

The sources of the publication have disclosed that chic malware allowed the cybercriminals to access telephone and online information and their main target has been Belgacom International Carrier Services (BICS) which is a universal provider of wholesale carrier services. By hacking BICS, hackers could intercept phone and Internet data from nations such as Yemen and Syria.

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