Belgacom no longer rules out customer data theft

  • Belgacom customer information was exposed.
  • BICS, its subsidiary, denies that its network was not secure enough.

Have spies truly intercepted Belgacom’s customer data by infecting its network with malware? For the first time since it announced an intrusion on its servers, the provider is considering this possibility. On Thursday evening, Belgacom indicated that it was able to shed light on the BICS router “irregularities” using reinforced network monitoring. This Belgacom subsidiary is in charge of international services. According to Belgacom, “Preliminary analyses are showing that changes were made to the routers’ software. This could have occurred during recent network intrusions”. A router is a piece of equipment that allows data to travel from one point to another in the network. BICS’ routers were transmitting both phone calls and Internet traffic.

Belgacom confirmed on Friday that the compromised router “was part of the BICS network and handles part of international traffic. The ongoing investigation will have to evaluate the impact on customer data.” At this point, nothing can confirm whether the BICS router piracy and the Belgacom computer network intrusion originated from the same source. This is what the federal prosecutor’s investigation is hoping to determine.

Network security specialists have been repeating for the past few weeks that once a network has been as insidiously infected as Belgacom’s, a complete cleanup is near impossible. “If someone took over your network, it means that they were probably able to extract all of the data they wanted without leaving any easily detectable traces,” points out a cyber-attack specialist.

The Belgacom spying affair now enters a new phase. Until now, the provider was insisting that it had no reason the think that its customers or data were affected by the attack. Things are now very different. The fears of individuals, as well as those of large international institutions, are once again being raised regarding possible telephone and Internet communication interception within Belgacom.

What are the real risks to the customer whose Internet or voice traffic is transmitted abroad through the BICS subsidiary’s lines? Does this worldwide provider sufficiently protect its customers’ transmissions? One source familiar with Belgacom and its subsidiaries’ internal workings judges that “BICS does not implement the security standards one would expect for this kind of activity”. BICS vigorously denies this allegation and insists that it “transmits customer information over a private network using the same security standards as the all the large European and American networks”.

BICS’ role in the heart of Europe, however, makes of it a highly desired target for spying operations.

ALAIN JENNOTT

This entry was posted in Non classé. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>