More conspiracy theories from the Merkel hacking debacle
Yesterday [October 24th 2013], GoMo News speculated on how US spy agencies might have managed to listen in to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone calls. We concluded here that the least likely scenario was that agents had been able to install an app on her personal handset. So that raises questions of how it was actually done? One of GoMo News‘ pet conspiracy theories is that it is done using the ISDN – the digital version of the fixed telephone network. But a far more sinister possibility is that it is done by inserting a backdoor into cellular infrastructure equipment.
Significantly, the possibility that Huawei might do this on behalf of the Chinese government is a major factor in the USA blocking the deployment of Huawei manufactured cellular infrastructure.
Perhaps the USA is actually upset because it can’t plant its own backdoors in Chinese made equipment?
The reality is that up until the rise of two Chinese telecoms companies – ZTE & Huawei, all of the world’s cellular infrastructure equipment was made by Western companies.
US based companies here included Motorola and Lucent (now paired with France’s Alcatel). In Germany it was Siemens (now part of Finland’s Nokia Networks),
The biggest supplier of such equipment is, of course, Sweden’s Ericsson but we can’t believe it would have been hard for US agents (maybe of Swedish decent) to infiltrate that company.
But if US mobile network operators (MNOs) had started to install Huawei made equipment it could have made life difficult for US spies.
Now the less sexy alternative is for US spies to have been using a telecoms engineer’s testing device which for some reason are referred to as ‘butt-phones’.
There is a strong connexion between the ISDN and mobile networks. A GSM telephone number is referred to as an MISDN (Mobile ISDN number) for example.
GoMo News previously speculated that the ISDN had been used by Colonel Gaddafi’s spies to monitor its enemies mobile phones here.
However, it has always struck GoMo News as odd that the US authorities (and the Canadians, too) were so ardently against Huawei’s infrastructure – but not is mobile handsets.
Perhaps we have now guessed why?