Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Hacker sold sensitive MQ-9 Reaper drone documents on the Dark Web

A Reaper drone Military secrets on the Air Force's Reaper drone were listed for sale on the Dark Web says a security company. Isaac Brekken Getty Images
Jeannette Daniel | 12 July, 2018, 15:45

According to Insikt's report, the team verified the documents after contacting the hacker.

Andrei Barysevich, director of advanced collection at Record Future and the author of the report, told The Hill that he is "100 percent certain" the documents are real.

Further interactions allowed analysts to discover other leaked military information available from the same threat actor.

However, Barysevich pointed out that the hacker's methods weren't particularly sophisticated, and his success should raise the alarm about what more advanced hackers may be stealing from the military. A second member of the military was also impacted, with maintenance documents for the M1 Abrams tank and details of how to defend against improvised explosive devices (IEDs) being put up for sale.

Subsequent work revealed that this info was actually pulled from at least one and more likely a series of insecure File Transfer Protocol (FTP) servers.

To find the vulnerable router, the hacker used a service called Shodan which is essentially a search engine for finding internet connected devices around the world. Despite the stretch of time, it's still a common issue. During its research, Recorded Future identified more than 4,000 routers susceptible to attack.

Exploitation was far from hard.

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The captain, whose computer had seemingly been compromised recently, had completed a cybersecurity awareness course, but he did not set a password for an FTP server hosting sensitive files.

Police are now trying to track down the hacker who stole the files.

The hacker did not disclose to Recorded Future the source of the additional materials.

The document was found for sale on the dark web last month, but no one ended up buying it, despite its rock-bottom price, according to Kevin Poulsen at The Daily Beast.

Someone has stolen United States military documents carrying information about combat drones using what is being called a "dumb security flaw".

The tank and IED manuals are believed to have been found through a separate hack, and the hacker is also believed to have accessed sensitive drone and camera footage. "The actor was even bragging about accessing footage from a MQ-1 Predator flying over Choctawhatchee Bay in the Gulf of Mexico". Recorded Future has not identified the country responsible but said that it is continuing to "assist law enforcement in their investigation" of the trade in classified documents. After building a rapport with other users on the dark-web forum, analysts chatted with the hacker and discovered he possessed "above amateur" abilities and may have been part of a group within a larger group. Recorded Future said the latest case is nearly unprecedented.

The discovery of the hacker comes amid heightened concern about how military secrets may be insufficiently protected, as the Defense Department's inspector general has reportedly been investigating a major security breach when Chinese hackers allegedly stole information relating to submarine warfare, including plans to build a supersonic antiship missile. "However, it is incredibly rare for criminal hackers to steal and then attempt to sell military documents on an open market".

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