European missile maker confirms data theft and denies network compromise

Missile maker MBDA appeared to confirm a data breach related to its business this week, but refuse claims that its networks have been compromised. Instead, the company said the information advertised by online cybercriminals came from an external hard drive.

MBDA is a major multinational defense player based in France which employs more … than 13,000 people.

In a recent post on a cybercriminal forum, a “group of independent cybersecurity specialists and researchers” calling itself “Adrastea” alleged that they hacked into the company’s networks, obtaining information about employees and projects on which the he company worked with the Ministry of Defense of the European Union. The poster claimed to have 60 GB of data.

In a statement posted on its website, MBDA said it was working with Italian police to investigate a blackmail scheme targeting the company.

MBDA is being blackmailed by a criminal group that falsely claims to have hacked into the company’s information networks. Following the company’s refusal to give in to this blackmail threat and pay a ransom demand, the criminal group disseminated information on the internet, making it available for payment.

The company said the source of the advertised data “has already been verified” and it confirmed that “no hacking of the company’s secure networks has taken place.”

So far, the company added, its “internal verification processes indicate that data made available online is neither classified nor sensitive.”

Andrea (they/them) is a senior policy correspondent at The Record and a longtime cybersecurity reporter who cut her teeth covering technology policy ThinkProgress (RIP) and then The Washington Post from 2013 to 2016, before doing investigative research on public records at the project on Government Surveillance and American Surveillance. Their work has also appeared on Slate, Politico, The Daily Beast, Ars Technica, Protocol and other outlets. Peterson also produces independent creative projects under his Plain Great Productions brand and can generally be found online as kansasalps.