According to the German magazine, the leaked document suggested that GCHQ was on the verge of gaining access to Belgacom's central roaming router that was being used to process international traffic, with the intention of using it for man-in-the-middle attacks on smartphone users. The presentation also indicated that BICS was among the agency's targets, Der Spiegel said.
BICS' network includes over 500 direct connections with over 160 countries and is used to route voice and data communications for more than 700 wired and wireless operators worldwide. The company's carrier services include voice, SMS and roaming.
The European Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee held an inquiry into the Belgacom intrusion at the beginning of October.
During that hearing, Belgacom Vice President Geert Standaert, declined to confirm or deny allegations made in the press about the origin of the attack. However, he described the malware that was used as "highly developed software."
Dirk Lybaert, Belgacom's secretary general said during the same hearing that the intruder had "massive resources, sophisticated means and a steadfast intent to break into our network."
Belgacom's customers include the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council.