‘Russia-linked hackers’ target MoD and leak thousands of documents online relating to some of Britain’s most sensitive sites in ‘potentially very damaging’ security breach
Hackers linked to Russia have targeted the UK’s Ministry of Defence and leaked thousands of documents online, according to a report.
The cybercriminals released data which could help criminals breach some of Britain’s most secretive sites including the HMNB Clyde nuclear submarine base, the Porton Down chemical weapon lab and a GCHQ listening post.
Secret information about military sites and high-security prisons was also stolen by the LockBit group – one of the world’s most dangerous hacking gangs.
The group – whose key suspects include Russian Mikhail Matveev – is said to have shared the data on the dark web which is accessible through special software, The Mirror reports.
Labour MP Kevan Jones, who sits on the Commons Defence Select Committee, told the newspaper: ‘This is potentially very damaging to the security of some of our most sensitive sites.
‘The Government needs to explain why this firm’s computer systems were so vulnerable. Any information which gives security arrangements to potential enemies is of huge concern.’
The hackers are said to have targeted the databases of Zaun, a company responsible for protecting maximum security sites.
It follows serious security breaches involving the Met Police – where 47,000 officers’ details were at risk – and the Police Service of Northern Ireland, who accidentally shared the personal details of 10,000 employees.
The hackers released thousands of pages of data which could help criminals get into the HMNB Clyde (pictured) nuclear submarine base
Secret information about military sites and high-security prisons was also stolen by the LockBit group – one of the world’s most dangerous hacking gangs. The group’s key suspects include Russian Mikhail Matveev (pictured)
The Mirror discovered that the hackers stole the documents last month in a shocking attack on Zaun – a firm based in the West Midlands which makes fences and security measures for vulnerable sites. The company provided security barriers at the London Olympics in 2012.
LockBit, who are said to have financial links to Russian criminals, are seen as incredibly dangerous. There are a number of Russians who have been detained over cyber attacks in the US and Canada.
Last year, Mikhail Vasiliev, a Russian and Candian national, was charged by the US. He is being detained in Canada and awaiting extradition to the US.
Mikhail Matveev, who has been linked to numerous ransomware variants including LockBit, is also wanted by for ‘allegedly conducting significant attacks against both United States and worldwide businesses’.
He is on the FBI’s most wanted list after alleged attacks on 1,400 global targets, including a £66million blackmail on the Royal Mail who refused to pay.
It’s understood one leaked document related to equipment used to protect Porton Down – one of the most secretive military research facilities in the UK. Zaun describes its work at the Wiltshire campus as ‘very secretive’.
A sales order detailing goods purchased for HMNB Clyde – which is home to Trident nuclear submarines – was also leaked. A sales order report for goods at GCHQ’s communications site in Bude, Cornwall, was also reportedly exposed. Bude is described as playing a ‘critical part’ in Britain’s security, according to GCHQ.
Information which could help criminals breach Porton Down (pictured) chemical weapon lab was also released by hackers
The leak is also said to have included security equipment at RAF Waddington where Reaper drone missions are conducted from for the last 10 years.
A spokesman for Zaun told The Mirror: ‘LockBit will have potentially gained access to some historic emails, orders, drawings and project files. We do not believe classified documents were stored on the system or have been compromised.
‘The National Cyber Security Centre has been contacted and we are taking advice. Zaun is a victim of a sophisticated cyber attack and has taken all reasonable measures to mitigate any attack on our systems.’
A Government spokesman told MailOnline tonight: ‘We do not comment on security matters.’