Data belonging to the French missile supplier MBDA regarding, among other things, the weapons used by NATO forces in the war in Ukraine has been leaked and put up for sale on the dark web. An investigation is currently underway.
Data theft is a real scourge for businesses. A few weeks ago, the French missile manufacturer MBDA became a victim: cybercriminals apparently managed to seize a hard drive located in the group’s Italian subsidiary, which contained several tens of gigabytes of data. The intrusion into the MBDA computer network, mentioned for some time, clearly did not take place and was denied by the company on August 1, 2022: “A group of hackers claims to have hacked into the MBDA computer system and claims to have had access to confidential information. . Faced with MBDA’s refusal to succumb to any blackmail and pay the required ransom, this criminal group spread information on the Internet, offering to make it available for a fee. MBDA immediately determined that this data, originating from MBDA Italy, was obtained not as a result of a hack, but from an external hard drive, ”the company said.
The stolen data, which will amount to about 80 GB, was put up for sale on English-language and Russian-language darknet forums. The requested amount will reach 15 bitcoins, or almost 300,000 euros. The nature of the information disclosed is confidential as it relates to military information and, in particular, to weapons currently being used by NATO forces in the war in Ukraine. Given the sensitivity of the case, the organization launched an investigation: “We are evaluating claims relating to data allegedly stolen from MBDA,” while stating that we have “no indication that the NATO network has been compromised.”
Data of the Land Ceptor CAMM anti-aircraft missile system leaked?
For their part, the cybercriminals who posted the MBDA data leak online indicate that this is classified information regarding employees of companies involved in the development of military projects, as well as project documentation, drawings, presentations, videos and photos of products, contracts and exchanges with other companies. A 50 MB excerpt from the stolen data, which the BBC was able to see, classified the documents as confidential, with limited access, but also with secret access. Some of them relate to a communications reconnaissance mission conducted in Estonia in 2020, call logs, GPS and personal coordinates of the person involved in the operation. “There is a lot of excessive secrecy in NATO, but these labels are important. They are provided by the author of the information, and NATO secrecy is not easily secured,” a former NATO official told the BBC. “This is really the kind of information that NATO does not want to publish.”
Examples of sensitive files may also include a presentation detailing the internals of the Land Ceptor CAMM (Common Anti-Air Modular Missile), a family of surface-to-air missiles developed by MBDA, including the location of its electronic storage unit. One of them was recently sent to Poland for use in the Ukrainian conflict as part of the Sky Saber system and is in working order. “The company’s internal verification processes show that the data posted online is neither classified nor sensitive data,” an MBDA spokesman told the BBC. Having contacted the editors, the French rocket manufacturer has not yet responded to our request for clarification on this leak.