Hacking is the most worrying issue for many internet users and countries. This has prompted the authorities such as the NSA and their British counterpart have grown very involved. This has been witnessed in the recent case in Belgium where there occurred an internet hacking of a very renowned cryptographer, Jean-Jacques Quisquater. The NSA and the GCHQ, their British counterpart, have decided to look into the issue according to the Belgium Newspaper De Standaard.
According to the investigations, Quisquater’s became the target of hacking after a series of investigation on another hacking of a Belgium firm, telecom firm Belgacom. These investigations were carried out by the British GCHQ.
The hacking has been a little confusing at first, in the first instance, the story reported incorrectly that one Mr. Quisquater is another victim of the quantum internet insert attack. This error was based on the released report which elaborated that Quisquater was a target by way of the very technique that was used to attack Belgacom. This report suggested that in both cases there was use of LinkedIn in the attacking. However, this is not the case at all. It is alleged that the attack was not by in any way the use of quantum insert attack. As Quisquater describes, it comes out clearly that the attack on him was another kind of phishing attack and not the former. Even after this information came out clearly, the NSA and the GCHQ are very extensively involved in the investigations.
This is not the first time this occurs, if you may recall a professor at The Université Catholique de Louvain became a victim too. He reportedly received an e-mail which turned out to be a LinkedIn request which happened to turn out to have been sent by a worker at the European patent Office. Since Quisquater is the owner of a number of patents (17 patents) and he is famous for his efforts in the works of security and payments, he may have been quick to believe that the request was genuine. When Quisquater was interviewed, he revealed that the attack was related to “variants of MiniDuke”. This affects the backdoors of systems and makes the systems vulnerable to attack.
According to Quisquater statements, he received a warning from the FCCU (The Belgium Federal Police) and afterwards he did an analysis. The police also informed him that they were did not have information concerning the hack. They informed him that there are very many possible explanations on the hack but concluded that it must be a huge industrial espionage.
The reason and justifications behind the attack is not known currently. But looking at the tangible evidence, this is not an industrial espionage but instead it is an attack on the civilian and he was the target. And as such it would be not only hard, but also, impractical to show that the crucial information taken from him is a matter of national security and public interest. Whatever the investigations prove will help in answering many questions indeed.