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Data leak exposes surveillance at Russia's top telecommunications firm


Sept. 18, 2019

Documents on the unprotected but network-connected drive used by an employee of Nokia shed light on the inner workings of the Russian networked surveillance system SORM.
The data leak exposes SORM surveillance activity inside Russia's top telco. And, the leak makes clear that Nokia was involved.
From Techcrunch :
The documents show that between 2016 and 2017, Nokia planned and proposed changes to MTS’s network as part of the telecom giant’s “modernization” effort.
Nokia planned to improve a number of local MTS-owned phone exchanges in several Russian cities — including Belgorod, Kursk and Voronezh — to comply with the latest changes to the country’s surveillance laws.
TechCrunch reviewed the documents, which included several floor plans and network diagrams for the local exchanges. The documents also show that the installed SORM device on each phone network has direct access to the data that passes through each phone exchange, including calls, messages and data.
The plans contain the physical address — including floor number — of each phone exchange, as well as the location of each locked room with SORM equipment in large bold red font, labeled “COPM.” One document was titled “COPM equipment installation [at] MTS’ mobile switching center,” a core function for handling calls on a cell network.
Secrets of Russia's 'SORM' spying network were revealed by a Nokia Networks employee's unprotected drive [techcrunch.com]
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