Scor­pene leaks source re­vealed

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent letters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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.

PRATIK CHORGE/HT

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