Monday, December 30, 2013

NSA has hacked a French Internet network to access ... - The World

According to these sources, the NSA would be introduced in the network, and accessing the information carried by the submarine cable SEA-ME-WE 4, which connects Asia and Oceania to Europe via the Middle East and to Marseilles, where it is connected to the Orange network. By the cable passes a data deluge.

French telecommunications operator announced Monday it would be a civil party “in the coming days.” “Orange has no involvement in such maneuvers performed entirely without his knowledge and concerning a priori equipment [SMW4 cable] which is not user manager “, said the operator.

“If piracy there has been, it could not be done via the Orange network, which has seen no such attack” , he says . The operator “however all possibilities of legal action in the event of Orange data carried by the cable in question would have been an attempt to intercept” , a he announced.


Such tracks can collect large amounts of metadata, that is to say, not the content of a conversation, but for example the date, place and participants. A priori harmless, they are actually quite revealing habits and a user relations.

Of the approximately two hundred and fifty submarine cables crisscrossing the globe, twenty landed on the French coast and connects Europe to the rest of the global network. Some cables are particularly strategic as the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE). Co-owned by France Telecom-Orange and its subsidiaries with twelve other companies or governments, he completed Penmarch (Finistère) a distance of more than 17 000 km in the Atlantic, “plugging” in passing a dozen countries in West Africa .

Read: The submarine cables, keystone of the cyber

Read (subscriber edition): La France at the heart of the surveillance of submarine cables


According to the document provided by Edward Snowden cited by Mediapart, February 13, 2013 the Office of Tailored Access Operation (the “office appropriate access operations”) “managed to collect information management systems of the submarine cable SEA-ME-WE “.

agency brags “had access to the site management of the consortium and have collected network information level 2, which shows the mapping of a significant part of the network” . And the agency to clarify “Other operations are planned for the future to gather more information on this and other cable systems .”

The technique used for this attack, called “Quantum Insert” (or “quantum insertion”) has already been used by the British electronic information agency, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), to infiltrate computers Belgacom as well as the headquarters of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. A technique that consists in redirecting discreetly company employees to fake websites to install unwittingly spyware on their machine.

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