Weapon systems made by European defense contractor MBDA have reportedly been exposed
NATO is investigating the reported sale of its classified documents by a hacker group, 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 assessing claims relating to data allegedly stolen from MBDA. We have no indication that any NATO network has been compromised,” the British broadcaster quoted a spokesperson for the alliance as saying.
The BBC said unidentified hackers were asking 15 Bitcoins (roughly $320,000 at current price) for the trove of stolen data. The price and other details coincide with what was reported in early August by the French cybersecurity and information technology news website LeMagIT.
The data cache was apparently offered to would-be buyers by someone named Adrastea in late July and is believed to originate from an external hard drive. An Italian subsidiary of MBDA is suspected to be the breach point for the hacker.
The BBC said it studied the free sample of the documents and found documents with various NATO and US classification labels. Some papers appeared to detail the mission of a US air squadron 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.
The report by LeMagIT said it contacted MBDA for comment and that the company admitted to being subjected to an extortion attempt. Both outlets cited the company as downplaying the breach, describing the data as “neither classified data nor sensitive.” The BBC said some of the MBDA documents it sampled were marked “proprietary information not to be disclosed or reproduced.”