BRUSSELS--Belgium's prime minister Elio Di Rupo Monday said the government is looking into a complaint by the company's biggest telecommunications operator, Belgacom SA (BELG.BT), that it was spied on by another country.
"If this hypothesis of cyber-espionage is confirmed, the government will firmly condemn this intrusion and violation of a public company's integrity," a statement from Mr. Di Rupo and his ministers said. "The goal of intrusion wasn't sabotage, but collection of strategic data."
The documents given to the federal prosecutor's office by Belgacom "indicate the high-level involvement of another country," the statement added.
According to De Standaard, the Dutch-language daily which reported the attacks, the spying was carried out by the U.S. National Security Agency and involved tracking international telephone calls for two years. It was focused on BICS, the Belgacom unit which provides wholesale telecom infrastructure services--in particular in Africa and the Middle East.
"Previous security checks by Belgacom experts revealed traces of a digital intrusion in the company's internal IT system," the company said in a statement. "The company has filed a complaint against an unknown third party and is granting its full support to the investigation that is being performed by the Federal Prosecutor."
Belgacom is majority-owned by the Belgian state.
By Frances Robinson at email@example.com