Data on Scorpene submarines hacked, India shocked

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has sought a report from the navy on the alleged leak of sensitive data on India’s Scorpene submarines, as part of the larger expose pertaining to some 22,000 documents of its French designer, DCNS, by the Australian media.

“The first step is to identify if it relates to us,” Parrikar told reporters here, referring to the documents that purportedly reveal details on the sub’s underwater and above water sensors, as also combat management, torpedo launch, navigation and communications systems.

“The Navy Chief (Admiral Sunil Lanba) has been asked to analyse what exactly has been leaked,” the minister said, adding his first assessment was that it was an act of hacking and not a 100-per cent leak. “We do have our final integration and all that,” he said.

“What I can understand — because it came to my knowledge around 12 am — is there is a hacking. So we will find out all these aspects,” he said. “I’ve told the navy chief to find out all the details. Mayby, in a couple of days I’ll be able share with you.”

The Australian media reports, quoting DCNS, said that the leak of such technical data could not happen with its proposed submarine for Australia. The French company also alluded that the leak may have occurred at India’s end, rather than from France.

“Uncontrolled technical data is not possible in the Australian Arrangements,” the company said as per a report in The Australian. “Multiple and independent controls exist within DCNS to prevent unauthorised access to data and all data movements are encrypted and recorded,” it said.

“In the case of India, where a DCNS design is built by a local company, DCNS is the provider and not the controller of technical data.”

The first of the Scorpene class submarines being built in India, INS Kalvari, went for sea trials in May, 2016 and is expected to be inducted in the Indian Navy soon. Variants of Scorpene submarines are also used by Malaysia and Chile, with Brazil to join the club soon.

he Indian Navy said on Wednesday it is analysing the leak of data related to Scorpene submarines, adding that the source of leak is not from this country.

In an official statement the Navy said: “The available information is being examined at Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence (Navy) and an analysis is being carried out by the concerned specialists.”

“It appears that the source of leak is from overseas and not in India,” the statement said.

Sensitive data related to India’s Scorpene submarines has been leaked, a report in the Australian media revealed, with French shipbuilder DCNS, which designed the submarine, facing a leak of documents spread over 22,000 pages.

The report also said DCNS “implied” but did not say directly “that the leak might have occurred at India’s end, rather than from France.”

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