The federal prosecutor’s office is almost ready with its report on an incident of hacking of Proximus in 2013, for which it claims British intelligence was responsible. According to a report in De Tijd, the investigation has turned up new evidence to back up what was immediately suspected at the time – that the British government’s listening station GCHQ (photo) had hacked into Proximus systems to listen in on communications with Belgacom (as the company was then known) and a subsidiary BICS, which provided communication services via roaming.
The discovery of the hacking ended up costing Belgacom €50 million in improving security. One of the methods used was to break into the computers of security personnel using fake LinkedIn messages.
Both the federal prosecutor and justice minister Koen Geens have refused to confirm or deny the Tijd report. Geens would go no further than to promise to lay the report before the National Security Council once it was delivered to him.
Meanwhile the prosecutor’s office is reported to have advised the minister that the case has to be dropped, since there is a lack of admissible evidence to be able to make criminal accusations against particular individuals. Other political or diplomatic moves are a matter for the two governments, and are unlikely ever to be made public.