Hackers stole NATO secrets in Portugal

According to the Diario de Noticias newspaper, hundreds of classified documents sent by NATO to Portugal were discovered for sale on the dark web after a cyberattack on the country’s military headquarters and army intelligence service.

This is the second incident in a few days since earlier The BBC has reported that NATO is investigating the sale of its classified documents by a group of hackers. Some data even allegedly described in detail the products of MBDA Missile Systems.

“This is a cyberattack that went on for a long time and went unnoticed by bots programmed to detect this kind of documents” said one of the anonymous sources cited by the newspaper regarding the “robbery” in Portugal.

As always, reports Diario de Noticias, the incident was noticed by American intelligence agencies, who informed the Portuguese authorities about it in August through the American embassy in Lisbon. However, the country’s prime minister was informed about this by the CIA back in August, and not by specialists from these departments.

In the course of an investigation by the Portuguese cybersecurity services, the general headquarters of the armed forces, the army intelligence service and an agency of the Ministry of Defense were identified as the targets of the attack. Presumably, the hackers worked with the help of bots that were looking for a certain type of files. The scale of the leak and its consequences are still not accurately assessed.

“The government is in a position to ensure that the Ministry of Defense and the armed forces work every day to maintain Portugal’s credibility as a founding member of the Atlantic Alliance. ”, said Prime Minister Antonio Costa. “Every time a violation is suspected (…), the situation is carefully analyzed” and action is being taken “to enhance cybersecurity”, added the Portuguese government, without confirming or denying the newspaper’s information.

According to Diario de Noticias, the documents in question were exchanged between various Portuguese agencies through insecure communication channels.

Earlier it became known that hackers hacked the largest weapons manufacturer in Europe – MBDA Missile Systems. Thus, the secrets of NATO missiles leaked into the network: the documents were also put up for sale.

Then the company reported that an external hard drive was hacked and secret information was stolen. The volume of information is 80 GB, it is sold for 15 bitcoins (about 18 million rubles). The hackers claim to have already sold a selection of documents to at least one mystery shopper.

The sellers specify that they received blueprints, information about modern weapons systems, and even information about US air reconnaissance operations in the Baltics in 2020.

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