Scorpene leaks source revealed
Secret data on India’s Scorpene submarines was accessed by an unknown number of people working for a private company in a Southeast Asian country and even placed on an internet server where it was vulnerable to hacking and interception.
The leaked data, which has forced the Indian Navy to assess the vulnerability of the Scorpene submarines ordered from French shipbuilder DCNS under a $3.5 billion deal, is believed to have been “removed” from the firm in Paris in 2011 by a former French Navy officer, The Australian reported late on Friday.
The officer, who worked as a subcontractor for DCNS, and a French colleague, took the data to a Southeast Asian country where they were employed by a private company run by a Western businessman. After the two Frenchmen were sacked, the secret data was sent to the company’s head office in Singapore.
The data was also placed on a server on April 18, 2013, and it was “dangerously vulnerable to hacking or interception by a foreign intelligence service”, the daily reported. “It is not known whether the data stayed on this server for a few days or for a year,” it added.
The data was also sent by the firm on a disk by regular post to a person in Sydney in 2013. This person, experienced in defence issues, was “stunned” when he saw the documents detailing the secret capabilities of the Indian submarines, the report said. An artist gives final touches to a Ganesha idol at Parel on Friday.