Report: Britain hacked Belgian telecom operator

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Associated Press

Posted on September 20, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Updated Friday, Sep 20 at 11:33 AM

BRUSSELS (AP) — A news magazine is citing documents leaked by Edward Snowden as saying that Britain's spy services were behind a sophisticated cyber-espionage scheme targeting Belgium's main phone operator.

Germany's Der Spiegel reported Friday that classified documents obtained from Snowden indicate Britain's GCHQ signals intelligence agency was behind the spying attack on Belgacom's IT system that Belgium revealed last week and which apparently stretched over the past few years. The firm also serves European Union institutions based in Belgium.

Belgian Prime Minister Elio di Rupo said the investigation into an apparently sophisticated cyber-espionage case was ongoing; he added the report will be "closely examined."

"If the hypothesis involving another country is confirmed, we will of course undertake the necessary steps," he said. He did not specify possible retaliation.

GCHQ declined to comment.

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