Monday, January 24, 2022

Spies, lies and how DISS infiltrated Telecoms

A recent letter to the editor defending Directorate of Intelligence Services and Security Services (DISS) Director General, Isaac Kgosi and sent to a number of local newspapers was written from the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) IP services desk suggesting that the spy agency has infiltrated the parastatal ÔÇô Sunday Standard investigations have revealed. Kruger Simonvelt, the author of the letter, “ My grain on Isaac Kgosi and Botswana’s teething intelligence” which was widely published in the Sunday Standard, the Botswana Guardian, the Weekend Post, The Mmeginewspaper and EIN news sought to rubbish media reports on corruption allegations against the DISS Director General.

Sunday Standard this week ran a Yahoo and Google search for Kruger Simonvelt who claimed to be a Private Security and Intelligence Consultant with an experience of 23 years and the search turned up the response: “No results found for Kruger Simonvelt.” This is internetese for “Kruger Simonvelt does not exist.” Further investigations by Sunday Standard also revealed that the author of the letter lied when he claimed to be a foreigner on holiday at the Okavango Delta.

The Sunday Standard investigation desk was able to trace Kruger Simonvelt’s e-mail message to a computer at the government enclave with an IP address of 168.167.214.123. Every machine on a network has a unique identifier. Computers use the unique identifier to send data to other computers on a network. All computers on the Internet use the TCP/IP protocol as the standard for how to communicate on the network. In the TCP/IP protocol, the unique identifier for a computer is called its IP address. The organisation that has been assigned the168.167.214.123 IP address is listed as Btc ÔÇô gate 1, this is the designation given to government departments and parastatals. The first six digits of the IP address ÔÇô 168.167 are shared by government department and parastatals. The physical address of the computer with the168.167.214.123 IP address is listed as: “Independence Avenue, Government Enclave, Gaborone, Botswana.”

The Internet Service Provider servicing the computer is Botswana Telecommunications Corporation and the IP address was assigned by the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) and is under the responsibility of AFRINIC. A Sunday Standard investigation further revealed that the e-mail address used by Kruger Simonvelt ([email protected]) is fake and just like the name was created specifically for the DISS propaganda maneuvers. The actual e-mail address assigned to the computer used by Kruger Simonvelt is [email protected] This suggests that the DISS has infiltrated the BTC database. The IP service desk is responsible for the BTC web-based directory tailored to help companies and individuals expedite their search for relevant IP firms or services.Sunday Standard investigations have also been able to establish the identity of four BTC employees who have been given NIC handles (Network Information Centre handle) to access the information centre. A NIC handle is a unique alphanumeric character sequence that represents an entry in the databases maintained by Network Information Centres. Their identities are known to this paper, and their NIC handles are:

io10 ÔÇô AFRINIC; DKM1-AFRINIC; TVS1 ÔÇô AFRINIC and BM16 – AFRINIC In his letter to the editor, Kruger Simonvelt states: “Some journalists have had the outmost audacity to refer to Kgosi as a man who has abused power. I was passing through Botswana enroute to South Africa where I will be attending the ISS (Intelligence Support Systems) World South Africa. ISS World South Africa is the world’s largest gathering of African law enforcement, intelligence and homeland security analysts as well as telecom operators responsible for lawful interception, hi-tech electronic investigations and network intelligence gathering. I had to spend a few days to enjoy the breeze of the Okavango Delta as I normally do and as within habits, immersed myself into the newspaper reports.”

Sunday Standard investigations revealed this as another lie by Kruger Simonvelt. The programme director at the ISS World South Africa conference Titiana Lucas confirmed to this publication there was no one in attendance by the name of Kruger Simonvelt.

Some of the seminar presenters at ISS World South Africa included Mark Bentley, Communications Data Expert, National Cyber Crime Law Enforcement, United Kingdom Police and Charles Cohen Commander, Special Investigations and Criminal Intelligence, Indiana State Police, United States.

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