cyber extortionist gang known as Maze Team has breached a company that supports
the US Minuteman III nuclear deterrent, according to reports.
International has several contracts with the U.S. military, including engineering
support and maintenance for the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic
missile (ICBM) program. ICBMs can carry a payload of multiple thermonuclear
warheads and can travel more than 6,000 miles to their target. The United
States has hundreds of ICBMs stockpiled in U.S. Air Force facilities in northern
states such as Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming.
recently breached Westech to encrypt the company’s data and demand ransom, but
not before copying sensitive data to conduct its usual double-extortion
operations. In fact, Maze has already started leaking documents online to
pressure Westech to cave in, Sky News reported.
recently experienced a ransomware incident, which affected some of our systems
and encrypted some of our files,” a Westech spokesperson told the media outlet.
“Upon learning of the issue, we immediately commenced an investigation and
contained our systems. We have also been working closely with an independent
computer forensic firm to analyse our systems for any compromise and to
determine if any personal information is at risk.”
Some of the
leaked files are said to include “extremely sensitive data, including payroll
and emails,” but it is unclear if the dump also includes classified military information.
speculates that Russian-speaking operatives might be commanding the cyber
offensive. Their intentions? “To monetise their haul by selling information
about the nuclear deterrent on to a hostile state,” reporter Alexander Martin
writes, citing U.S. court documents alleging that Russian cyber criminals and
intelligence services have teamed up to steal classified government documents.