recommended reading


Web traffic from U.S., Germany, South Korea and Iran intercepted by Iceland?

Cyber espionage; Man-in-the-middle attack

Someone mysteriously hijacked data headed to government agencies, corporate offices and other recipients in the U.S. and elsewhere and redirected it to Belarus and Iceland, before sending it on its way to its legitimate destinations, Wired reports.

This happened repeatedly for several months earlier in 2013 before researchers noticed the oddity.

It was an attack on the so-called Border Gateway Protocol, or BGP, a move that allows hackers to fool routers on the worldwide internet traffic-routing system into re-directing data to a system they control. When they finally send files to their intended destination, neither the sender nor recipient is aware that their data has made an unscheduled stop.

"The attackers initiated the hijacks at least 38 times, grabbing traffic from about 1,500 individual IP blocks — sometimes for minutes, other times for days — and they did it in such a way that, researchers say, it couldn’t have been a mistake,” Wired reports.

The identity of the misfit or misfits remains a mystery. Although systems in Belarus and Iceland initiated the hijacks, it’s possible that those systems were hijacked by a third party that used them as a proxy for the attacks.

Analysts at Renesys wrote in a blog post about the hijacks: “It’s possible to drag specific internet traffic halfway around the world, inspect it, modify it if desired, and send it on its way. Who needs fiberoptic taps?”

No word from the NSA on that question.         

ThreatWatch is a regularly updated catalog of data breaches successfully striking every sector of the globe, as reported by journalists, researchers and the victims themselves.


Government (U.S.); Government (Foreign)


December 5, 2013

reported by


number affected


location of breach

U.S., Germany, South Korea and Iran



location of perpetrators


date breach occurred

February 2013 through August 2013

date breach detected


Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.