The investigation started after more than 22,000 pages related to six DCNS Scorpene submarines being built in India were leaked.
“DCNS has been made aware of articles published in the Australian press related to the leakage of sensitive data about Indian Scorpene.This serious matter is thoroughly investigated by the proper French national authorities for Defense Security. This investigation will determine the exact nature of the leaked documents, the potential damages to DCNS customers as well as the responsibilities for this leakage.” reads the press information published by the company.
The journalists at The Australian had reviewed over 4,450 pages on the Scorpene’s underwater sensors, over 4,300 pages on its combat systems, 4,200 pages of data on above-water sensors.
The DCNS claimed it was the victim of economic cyber espionage, a DCNS spokeswoman told Reuters that the security breach could have a dramatic impact on the company due to the exposure of sensitive information related the collaboration of the company with some governments.
“Asked if the leak could affect other contracts, a company spokeswoman said it had come against a difficult commercial backdrop and that corporate espionage could be to blame.” reported the Reuters. “Competition is getting tougher and tougher, and all means can be used in this context,” she said. “There is India, Australia and other prospects, and other countries could raise legitimate questions over DCNS. It’s part of the tools in economic warfare.”
The Australian newspaper published some 22,400 documents containing technical details of six DCNS Scorpene submarines that are being built at a shipyard in Mumbai, India.
“I understand there has been a case of hacking,” Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar told reporters. “We will find out what has happened.”
The DCNS Scorpene submarines are technological jewels, the documents include highly sensitive details of the submarine including manuals and models of the boat’s antennae.
This new generation of submarines has significant intelligence-gathering capabilities, is it equipped with advanced combat systems and high-tech devices for communication.
As anticipated the leaked documents also include secret information related the activities conducted by the French firm with various governments. The leaked files include secret information on sea trials that the Malaysian Navy is conducting with its fleet of DCNS Scorpene submarines. Some documents are related to business information with Chile and Russia, in the first case the company provided radar systems for some Chilean frigates, meanwhile the Russian government received amphibious assault vessels.
In a brief statement, the DCNS said it is aware of the leak on the Indian Scorpenes and noted that the appropriate French authorities are currently investigating the breach. “This investigation will determine the exact nature of the leaked documents, the potential damages to DCNS customers as well as the responsibilities for this leakage.”
The Australian hasn’t revealed the source of the documents but confirmed that the security breach could have serious repercussions on a $38 billion project that the DCNS is currently negotiating with the Australian government.
(Security Affairs – cyber espionage, DCNS Scorpene submarines)