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January 7, 2012

BlackBerry, Nokia and Apple have provided the Indian Military with backdoor access to cellular surveillance


Mannan Kakkar | ZDNet

On January 6th reports of Symantec (makers of Norton Anitvirus) being hacked surfaced. The group of hackers behind the attack behind the attack were from India. In a statement issued by a member from the Lords of Dharamraja group (badass name!), the guys said:
As of now we start sharing with all our brothers and followers information from the Indian Militaty (sic) Intelligence servers, so far we have discovered within the Indian Spy Programme (sic) source codes of a dozen software companies which have signed agreements with Indian TANCS programme (sic) and CBI
Ignoring the typing error, gaining access to Indian Military’s Intelligence servers is pretty damning for the agency. The hack got covered since the hackers claimed to have acces to Norton’s source code. Earlier today I came across scans of a set of documents that are internal communications between the Indian Military. The documents claim the existence of a system known as RINOA SUR. While I did not find what SUR stands for but RINOA is RIM, NOkia and Apple. And this is where things start to get very interesting, according to the set of documents, the RINOA SUR platform was used to spy on the USCC—the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Let’s take a moment for that to digest. Here’s an image from the documents underlining the relevant part:

The documents contain snippets of emails sent by members of the USCC. Apparently, RINOA SUR platform has been declared a success and the Indian Navy has shown interest in the same. The leaked military documents suggest, RINOA were arm twisted into providing backdoor access in exchange for operating in India:









While the Indian government recently gave the nation’s premiere spy agency—RAW—permission to access any citizen’s electronic communication, the Department of Telecommunications has reached out to the Interpol for help in decrypting communication via services like RIM’s BlackBerry.

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