EU missile maker MBDA confirms data theft extortion, denies breach

EU missile maker MBDA confirms data theft extortion, denies breach

MBDA, one of the largest missile developers and manufacturers in Europe, has responded to rumors about a cyberattack on its infrastructure saying that claims of a breach of its systems are false.

A statement from the company clarifies that it was the target of a criminal group who spread the false news of hacking its information systems in an attempt to blackmail the organization into paying a ransom.

The extortionists had acquired MBDA data from an external drive used by the company’s Italian division and demanded a ransom to not leak or sell the files.

“The origin of the data has already been ascertained, having been acquired from an external hard drive. It has been confirmed that no hacking of the company’s secure networks has occurred,” MBDA says.

“So far, the company’s internal verification processes indicate that the data made available online are neither classified data nor sensitive.”

The firm doesn’t provide any explanation about how the extortionists got their hands onto the external hard drive from MBDA Italy.

MBDA also added that they will not yield to the blackmail and won’t pay the ransom to the criminals. Instead, they will work with law enforcement authorities in Italy and take all legal actions against the perpetrators.

The hacking claims

On July 30, 2022, a hacking group called “Andrastea”, who describe themselves as a group of cybersecurity researchers, posted a claim on a popular hacking forum about breaching MBDA by leveraging critical network vulnerabilities.

The hackers claimed that they had downloaded approximately 60 GB of data as a result of the intrusion, including information about MBDA’s employees, several classified military projects, technical schematics, contracts, agreements, and more.

Andrastea forum postAndrastea forum post detailing the alleged breach

Andrastea shared samples of the stolen data as proof that the data they have is real.

MBDA is a huge developer of missile systems that currently makes 45 missile types sold to 90 customers. Another 15 are now in development, including air-to-air, surface-to-air, air-to-surface, anti-ship, anti-tank, and multiple-launcher systems.

The firm has an annual revenue of EUR 4.2 billion, with physical presence in France, Germany, Italy, the U.K., the U.S., and India, and 13,000 employees.


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