Espionage possibility under investigation - Norway security authorities / News / The Foreigner

Espionage possibility under investigation - Norway security authorities. “We’re taking this very seriously and doing our own analyses,” National Security Authority (NSM) communications director Mona Strøm Arnøy tells The Foreigner, Saturday. She makes her comments following Aftenposten’s revelations that central Oslo-located false mobile base stations have likely been deployed to monitor top politicians and others. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies use these so-termed IMSI Catchers (International Mobile Subscriber Identity), to eavesdrop on mobile calls and track users’ movements.

spying, mobiles, politics, espionage, surveillance, norway



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Espionage possibility under investigation - Norway security authorities

Published on Saturday, 13th December, 2014 at 14:34 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 8th January 2015 at 00:48.

“We’re taking this very seriously and doing our own analyses,” National Security Authority (NSM) communications director Mona Strøm Arnøy tells The Foreigner, Saturday.

Mobile mast (illustration photo)
One of these may have been used to spy on Norwegian politicians.Mobile mast (illustration photo)
Photo: Les Chatfield/Flickr


She makes her comments following Aftenposten’s revelations that central Oslo-located false mobile base stations have likely been deployed to monitor top politicians and others.

Law enforcement and intelligence agencies use these so-termed IMSI Catchers (International Mobile Subscriber Identity), to eavesdrop on mobile calls and track users’ movements.

They are illegal for sale to the general public. Which person(s) or organisation(s) owns/own, or that are behind their use in the Norwegian capital is not yet known.

To carry investigations out, Aftenposten staff employed the German-made CryptoPhone 500 mobile to discover these facilities between 10th October and 21st November this year.

Journalists, who discovered a considerable number of IMSI Catchers in the vicinity of the Parliament and Prime Minister’s Office, made 57 journeys and recorded 50,000 measurements over a 100-kilometre road distance (about 62 miles) in Oslo.

The Norwegian Parliament, Oslo
The Norwegian Parliament, Oslo
©2014 Michael Sandelson/The Foreigner
They then checked the data for errors such as signal strength, bad or construction-hindered coverage, and uncertain GPS (Global Positioning System) positions.

The mobile recorded some 122 “extremely suspicious” incidents, and indicated that suspicious base stations were possibly in the area.

CryptoPhone 500s, highly-encrypted customised Android devices disguised as a Samsung Galaxy S3s, constantly monitor baseband processor activity.

The device, which also detects and informs the user of baseband attacks and initiates automatic countermeasures, offers defence-grade mobile phone security, according to the manufacturer.

It makes secure messaging and voice over IP calls on any network, including 2G GSM, 3G UMTS/W-CDMA, and Wireless LAN, possible.

The material journalists found was passed to the Police Security Service (PST), the NSM, the Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority (NPT), the Oslo Police, and operators Telenor and Netcom.

They initiated cooperation with British, Czech, Norwegian research and development company CEPIA Technologies – specialists in Applied Cryptology and High Performance Computing for Governments and research institutions, the firm says – and the Norwegian security company Aeger Group.

Both firms then used highly-advanced counterespionage equipment (Falcon II, amongst others) to follow the information up.

“We’re taking this very seriously and doing our own analyses [regarding the issue]. We’ll be examining further details after the weekend,” says Mona Strøm Arnøy, director of communications at the Norwegian National Security Authority, to The Foreigner.

Minister of Justice Anders Anundsen
Minister of Justice Anders Anundsen
Børge Sandnes/FrP Media
Minister of Justice and Public Security Anders Anundsen declares this type of surveillance method is “completely unacceptable”, should the information prove to be correct.

"The extent of local surveillance in the [Norwegian] capital that Aftenposten refers to appears to be sizeable and systematized,” he states in an email. “However, we need to know more. I’m aware that the NSM has already started work on this.”

“The authorities have been, and are aware that we are vulnerable, and that’s why we’ve also taken quite a few precautions [regarding] when government members talk with each other. Equipment that allows us to discuss sensitive information in a secure manner is then used [in these cases].”

Minister Anundsen refers to the NSM and Police Security Service for further comment, adding that he will receive “necessary orientations from the services on a running basis.”




Published on Saturday, 13th December, 2014 at 14:34 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 8th January 2015 at 00:48.

This post has the following tags: spying, mobiles, politics, espionage, surveillance, norway.





  
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