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UK Atomic Weapons Information Rerouted to Ukraine

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Endgame in the Ukraine crisis?

COMMENT: There is no shortage of depressing news these days. Just in case you were feeling secure, check out the details of an interesting cyber-attack. In what cyber security experts call a “man-in-the-middle attack,” e-mail from a number of firms were rerouted to Kiev, Ukraine, before going to their intended destinations. 

Among the firms successfully targeted was a UK contractor that makes nuclear warheads. Speculation has circulated that this may have enabled the attacker to gain information about the manufacture of nuclear weapons.

This is to be seen against the background of statements by Andrei Biletsky–a member of the Ukrainian parliament and the commander of the Nazi Azov Battalion–that Ukraine is going to attempt to become a nuclear power.

Feeling better?

Programs covering the Ukraine crisis are: FTR #’s 777778779780781782, 783784794800803804, 808811817818824826829832833837. 


Combat helmets of the Ukrainian government's Azov Battalion: Wll they have access to nukes?

“EMail Traffic of UK Atomic Weapons Organization Hijacked, Rerouted to Ukraine”; Nextgov; 3/13/2015. 

It’s unclear how the Internet traffic for many British Telecom customers—including a defense contractor that helps make nuclear warheads —was diverted to servers in Ukraine before being passed along to its intended recipients.

The snag may have allowed adversaries to intercept or tamper with communications sent and received by the UK’s Atomic Weapons Establishment, one of the affected clients. Other organizations with redirected traffic include Lockheed Martin, Toronto Dominion Bank, Anglo-Italian helicopter company AgustaWestland, and the UK Department for Environment, according to a blog post by researchers at Dyn, an online infrastructure consultancy.

The affected traffic appears to include email and virtual private network connections. The circuitous path caused the data “to travel thousands of miles to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev before turning around, retracing that route, and being delivered to its normal hub in London,” Ars Technica reports.

Sending the data to Kiev may have made it possible for employees with network access to Ukrainian telecom provider Vega to eavesdrop or manipulate data that wasn’t encrypted. . . . .

. . . . This sort of rerouting – called a man-in-the-middle attack — is the result of the implicit trust placed in the border gateway protocol used to exchange data between large service providers and their customers, which include banks, governments, network service providers, aerospace companies, and other sensitive organizations.


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