Snowden Leaks: NSA Hacked Al-Jazeera, French Foreign Ministry and Russian Airline

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The documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden have reveled that National Security Agency hacked into the encrypted email system of Qatar based Al-Jazeera TV, the French Foreign Ministry and Russian airline Aeroflot’s ticket reservation system.

In a latest report published by German newspaper Der Spiegel it was reveled that National Security Agency (NSA) successfully hacked the email system of Al-Jazeera TV where the target was to spy on email conversations, as the channel is known for broadcasting first hand audio and video messages sent by top Al-Qaeda leaders.

NSA was able to access some ‘useful’ emails protected by Al-Jazeera TV but after language analysis of the emails, NSA officials did not find e-mails particularly useful.

Then a document that talks about NSA’s surveillance on French Foreign Ministry:

Der Spiegel reports that purpose of targeting ministry was to access and spy on a specific diplomats’ computer network. NSA successfully breached the Foreign Ministry’s network considering it a “success story,” with a number of incidents of “sensitive access,” the document states.

The document shows a list of French diplomatic websites which were tapped, such as “diplomatie.gouv.fr,” ran by the Foreign Ministry’s server in 2010. After successful access to French Foreign Ministry in France, NSA targeted French diplomatic offices in the United Nations in New York and Washington. The spy operations were given secret names of “Blackfoot” and “Wabash,” respectively.

Relationships between France and US are being strained due to illegal surveillance conducted by NSA. In July 2013, French President François Hollande said that:

  • “There can be no negotiations or transactions in all areas until we have obtained these guarantees, for France but also for all of the European Union, for all partners of the United States”.

Then comes the Russian airline Aeroflot’s who reservation and ticketing system were targeted by NSA in order to spy on every email conversation and in depth details of flight schedule and ticketing details.

However, there has been no official response from Russian government over NSA’s illegal surveillance on its airline’s reservation system.

The person responsible for exposing NSA’s unethical and illegal PRISM surveillance project was Edward Snowden who is now residing in Russia on a one year asylum permit.

Waqas

Waqas Amir is a Milan-based cybersecurity journalist with a passion for covering latest happenings in cyber security and tech world. In addition to being the founder of this website, Waqas is also into gaming, reading and investigative journalism.