- BRIT HUME, HOST: Last time we reported on the approximately
60 Israelis who had been detained in connection with the Sept. 11 terrorism
investigation. Carl Cameron reported that U.S. investigators suspect that
some of these Israelis were spying on Arabs in this country, and may have
turned up information on the planned terrorist attacks back in September
that was not passed on.
- Tonight, in the second of four reports on spying by Israelis
in the U.S., we learn about an Israeli-based private communications company,
for whom a half-dozen of those 60 detained suspects worked. American investigators
fear information generated by this firm may have fallen into the wrong
hands and had the effect of impeded the Sept. 11 terror inquiry. Here's
Carl Cameron's second report.
- (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
- CARL CAMERON, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fox
News has learned that some American terrorist investigators fear certain
suspects in the Sept. 11 attacks may have managed to stay ahead of them,
by knowing who and when investigators are calling on the telephone. How?
- By obtaining and analyzing data that's generated every
time someone in the U.S. makes a call.
- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What city and state, please?
- CAMERON: Here's how the system works. Most directory
assistance calls, and virtually all call records and billing in the U.S.
are done for the phone companies by Amdocs Ltd., an Israeli-based private
- Amdocs has contracts with the 25 biggest phone companies
in America, and more worldwide. The White House and other secure government
phone lines are protected, but it is virtually impossible to make a call
on normal phones without generating an Amdocs record of it.
- In recent years, the FBI and other government agencies
have investigated Amdocs more than once. The firm has repeatedly and adamantly
denied any security breaches or wrongdoing. But sources tell Fox News that
in 1999, the super secret national security agency, headquartered in northern
Maryland, issued what's called a Top Secret sensitive compartmentalized
information report, TS/SCI, warning that records of calls in the United
States were getting into foreign hands - in Israel, in particular.
- Investigators don't believe calls are being listened
to, but the data about who is calling whom and when is plenty valuable
in itself. An internal Amdocs memo to senior company executives suggests
just how Amdocs generated call records could be used. "Widespread
data mining techniques and algorithms.... combining both the properties
of the customer (e.g., credit rating) and properties of the specific 'behavior.'"
Specific behavior, such as who the customers are calling.
- The Amdocs memo says the system should be used to prevent
phone fraud. But U.S. counterintelligence analysts say it could also be
used to spy through the phone system. Fox News has learned that the N.S.A
has held numerous classified conferences to warn the F.B.I. and C.I.A.
how Amdocs records could be used. At one NSA briefing, a diagram by the
Argon national lab was used to show that if the phone records are not secure,
major security breaches are possible.
- Another briefing document said, "It has become increasingly
apparent that systems and networks are vulnerable.Such crimes always involve
unauthorized persons, or persons who exceed their authorization...citing
on exploitable vulnerabilities."
- Those vulnerabilities are growing, because according
to another briefing, the U.S. relies too much on foreign companies like
Amdocs for high-tech equipment and software. "Many factors have led
to increased dependence on code developed overseas.... We buy rather than
train or develop solutions."
- U.S. intelligence does not believe the Israeli government
is involved in a misuse of information, and Amdocs insists that its data
is secure. What U.S. government officials are worried about, however, is
the possibility that Amdocs data could get into the wrong hands, particularly
organized crime. And that would not be the first thing that such a thing
has happened. Fox News has documents of a 1997 drug trafficking case in
Los Angeles, in which telephone information, the type that Amdocs collects,
was used to "completely compromise the communications of the FBI,
the Secret Service, the DEO and the LAPD."
- We'll have that and a lot more in the days ahead - Brit.
- HUME: Carl, I want to take you back to your report last
night on those 60 Israelis who were detained in the anti-terror investigation,
and the suspicion that some investigators have that they may have picked
up information on the 9/11 attacks ahead of time and not passed it on.
- There was a report, you'll recall, that the Mossad, the
Israeli intelligence agency, did indeed send representatives to the U.S.
to warn, just before 9/11, that a major terrorist attack was imminent.
How does that leave room for the lack of a warning?
- CAMERON: I remember the report, Brit. We did it first
internationally right here on your show on the 14th. What investigators
are saying is that that warning from the Mossad was nonspecific and general,
and they believe that it may have had something to do with the desire to
protect what are called sources and methods in the intelligence community.
The suspicion being, perhaps those sources and methods were taking place
right here in the United States.
- The question came up in select intelligence committee
on Capitol Hill today. They intend to look into what we reported last night,
and specifically that possibility - Brit.
- HUME: So in other words, the problem wasn't lack of a
warning, the problem was lack of useful details?
- CAMERON: Quantity of information.
- HUME: All right, Carl, thank you very much.
- From David A. Doane
- I have worked in the telecommunications operational software
systems (OSS) business for a number of years. AMDOCS does have a significant
market share of the local phone billing through their contracts with the
"Baby Bells", BUT does not "own" this market, and,
there are a number of other significant players in the cellular and long
distance. For example all AT&T long distance calls go through a billing
system built by CONVERGYS (a long time supplier to AT&T). Many very
big companies are involved in this billing space of the total OSS market.
- AND (and this is a very big and), most of the installed
billing systems are nut managed by AMDOCS. When a system is installed
it is managed by the telecom customer. One thing Telecommunications companies
are VERY serious about is owning the billing service, because in the final
analysis that is the only contact that most end users have with the phone
company, therefore it is the perceived point of value. Some Telecoms contract
out the actual printing and mailing of the bill and some of the software
companies provide this service (AMDOCS is one that does).
- The bottom line is that there are points in the billing
process that third parties MAY get a hold of the call detail records, BUT
it is VERY unlikely that one company can have a large enough share to undermine
the system or mine for data. The only place that this is possible is with
government telecom contractors and that should be looked into seriously.
- Below is a short list of the software companies that
play in this space.
- Abiliti Solutions
- Apogee Networks
- The Billing College
- Billing World and OSS Today
- The Board Room
- CBILL, Inc.
- Checkfree i Solutions
- ComArch Group
- Comm Soft
- Communications Data Group
- Comporium Data Services
- Comptel Corporation
- CTI Group
- Daleen Technologies
- DST Innovis
- Engel Consulting Group
- EUR Systems
- European Communications
- Exstream Software
- Financial Statement Services
- Fujitsu Consulting
- Group 1 Software
- Hewlett-Packard Company
- High Deal, Inc.
- Info Directions
- Infotech Solutions
- Intec Telecom Systems PLC
- Intrado Inc.
- Isis Papyrus America Inc.
- KPMG Consulting Inc.
- Lucent Technologies
- Mail2000, A UPS Company
- Metavante Corporation
- MIND CTI
- Moore BCS
- nTels Co.
- OSG Billing Services
- Output Technology Solutions
- Platinum Communications, Inc.
- Portal Software
- Quintrex Data Systems
- Schlumberger Sema
- Service Level Corporation
- Smarten U.S.
- SMS Consulting
- SunTec Business Solutions
- Teleflex Systems, Inc.
- TeleStrategies, Inc.
- The Tower Group
- Times Ten Performance Software
- TMNG Inc.
- TSI Telecommunication Services
- United Support Systems
- USHA Communications Technology
- Vertex Inc.
- Vestcom International
- Vibrant Solutions
- XACCT Technologies