Hackers are selling NATO secrets – BBC

Weapons systems made by European defense contractor MBDA were reportedly on display

NATO is investigating the alleged sale of its classified documents by a group of hackers, the BBC reported on Thursday. Some of the data describes in detail the products of MBDA Missile Systems, a pan-European defense manufacturer.

“We are evaluating claims relating to data allegedly stolen from MBDA. We have no indication that a NATO network has been compromised,” the British broadcaster quoted a spokesperson for the alliance as saying.

The BBC said unidentified hackers were demanding 15 Bitcoin (about $320,000 at current prices) for the trove of stolen data. The price and other details coincide with what was reported in early August by French cybersecurity and information technology news site LeMagIT.

The data cache was apparently offered to potential buyers by someone named Adrastea in late July and is said to come from an external hard drive. An Italian subsidiary of MBDA is suspected to be the hacker’s breach point.

The BBC said it studied the free sample of documents and found documents with various NATO and US classification labels. Some articles appeared to detail a US air squadron’s mission in Estonia in 2020. Others showed schematics for an anti-aircraft called Land Ceptor CAMM. The broadcaster stressed that it was unable to independently verify the authenticity of the documents.

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LeMagIT’s report says it contacted MBDA for comment and the company admitted to being the subject of an extortion attempt. Both outlets cited the company as downplaying the breach, describing the data as « neither classified nor sensitive data. » The BBC said some of the MBDA documents it sampled were marked « proprietary information not to be disclosed or reproduced. »


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