A contract under which French firm DCNS is building submarines for the Indian navy has exploded in acrimony after it was revealed that 22,000 pages detailing technical and performance specifications of the craft has been leaked.
The shipbuilder said it could be an act of industrial warfare.
It has raised questions over multinational multibillion dollar defence contracts.
The newspaper The Australian said the leak may have happened five years ago. An Indian government defence ministry official is reported as saying the leak came from France and not from India.
Scott Gordon, chief operating officer at file security firm Finalcode, said: “If this was economic warfare as speculated, we can expect more attacks like this on a global scale. Hacktivists are motivated by reputational, economic and political gains from capitalizing on businesses' and countries' inability to secure sensitive, critical documents— tipping the scale in favor of other contenders in future military action and contracting situations,” said Scott Gordon, COO at file security firm FinalCode. “Sharing files, such as the 22,000+ pages of blueprints and technical details on DCNS’s Scorpene submarines, is a necessary collaboration between government, contractor and manufacturing entities. But the exposure of these Indian naval secrets illustrates how lax file protection has opened a door to new data loss risks—and how even confidential military information can be exfiltrated and exposed by a weak link in the supply chain. File security controls, such as encryption, access and digital rights management (DRM), should have been persistently applied to these files and according to policy, in order to mitigate these costly risks.”
DCNS is building 5 submarines for India in a $3.5bn deal signed in 2005.
Last year Australia signed a $45bn deal with same company for 12 submarines with DNCS.