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Wednesday July 20, 2011 10:02 AM (EST+7)
NZ prime minister denies Mossad infiltrated Christchurch

Read more: New Zealand, Mossad, intelligence, spying, computers, virus, earthquake, natural disaster

RAMALLAH, July 20 (JMCC) - New Zealand's prime minister John Key says his country's intelligence agencies found no evidence of Mossad infiltration in Christchurch before and after the city's devastating February 22 earthquake.

Apparently, the country's spy agency had been investigating suspicious activity by Israelis in the city. One Israeli man carrying multiple passports was killed in the earthquake and his companions immediately left the country with the help of Israeli officials, reported The Southland Times.

In addition, an unauthorized Israeli rescue team was found in an area of the city that was blocked to all people and escorted from the premises  by New Zealand security. Concerns were that the Mossad could have accessed the country's computer system.

When it was realised the forensic analysts could have accessed the national police computer database, an urgent security audit was ordered.

As the SIS officer explained, it would take only moments for a USB drive to be inserted in a police computer terminal and loaded with a program allowing remote backdoor access.

We were concerned that could have happened, the officer said.

We carried out an urgent audit. If it had been done it would eventually have given the Israelis access to all of our intelligence.

The national database holds all records of convictions, firearms licences, lost and stolen property, criminal behaviour and identifying marks and observations taken by police. It is capable of sophisticated searching and data matching. The officer said the audit had not identified any suspicious files so far, but a wider SIS investigation was continuing.

It all looks suspicious, but a lot of what the Israelis do raises suspicion. So lots of smoke but we haven't found any fires. The file remains open though.

Intelligence agencies have become hypersensitive to sophisticated hacking after the malware agent.btz was infiltrated into the computer systems of United States Military Command three years ago.

The US believes Russian agents were responsible and Deputy Defence Secretary William Lynn has described it as a digital beachhead for a foreign intelligence agency to attempt to steal data. Attempts to remove the malware have so far been unsuccessful – new, more potent variations of agent.btz are still appearing.







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