Hacking the sting out of Scorpene: DCNS leak exposes secrets

Keeping secrets has never been easy, but in today’s infinitely connected, network-enabled world, it has become a great deal more difficult, especially when the tools necessary to steal sensitive information are readily available and sitting in almost every home. A data breach involving French shipbuilders DCNS’ Scorpene class submarine is a case in point.

Stephen Gates, chief research intelligence analyst at security specialists NSFOCUS, says that understanding the mind, methods and motivations behind the hack is vital, in just the same way as knowing what lies behind a crime can often help police officers to solve it.

“Any organisation that houses sensitive data needs to ask themselves, ‘if I were a hacker, how would I gain access to the very data we are trying to protect?’,” Gates says.

Part of the answer to that seems to be by taking advantage of the growing complexity of the systems that hold it. According to Michael Callahan, vice president at security management company FireMon, with the defence sector ever more reliant on huge amounts of varying kinds of sensitive data, this mounting sophistication provides major opportunities for hackers to exploit.