Portuguese Government Agencies Investigate Serious Sale of Classified NATO Documents on Dark Web

Classified NATO Documents Stolen and Sold on the Dark Web

Hundreds of classified NATO documents sent to Portugal have been stolen and sold on the dark web. Portugal's top military institution, EMGFA, was the target of a "prolonged and unprecedented cyber attack" that led to the disclosure of secret NATO information.

The Portuguese government discovered the cyberattack in August after U.S. intelligence officials found classified documents for sale on the dark web, the report said.

The leak was deemed "extremely serious" and the first investigation into the data breach found that security rules for classified information had been broken because non-secure connections were used to receive and forward the documents, the sources said.

NATO demands explanation from Portuguese government

Two Portuguese officials will travel to NATO headquarters in Brussels next week for a high-level meeting, the report said. Meanwhile, the Portuguese Prosecutor's Office, as well as the Portuguese Ministry of Defense, are investigating the matter.

Portuguese prosecutor's office is investigating

The Portuguese Prosecutor General's Office is investigating a cyberattack against the Armed Forces General Staff in which classified NATO documents were extracted and sold on the "dark web," the office said Tuesday.

The Attorney General's Office told EURACTIV media partner Lusa: "The establishment of the investigation team is confirmed and it is led by the Public Prosecutor's Office of the Central Department of Investigation and Prosecution (DCIAP)."

According to Portuguese newspaper Diário de Notícias, the U.S. intelligence service informed the government of the situation last week through the embassy in Lisbon, reportedly communicating directly with Prime Minister Antonio Costa in August.

The same newspaper mentions that the case is considered "extremely serious" and that the U.S. cyber intelligence agency has discovered "hundreds of documents sent from NATO to Portugal that were sold on the 'dark web' and classified as secret and classified documents."

Portugal's defense ministry is investigating

The Defense Ministry said it was already investigating "all indications of possible breaches of computer security" and claimed that the "sensitivity" of the proceedings meant that further comment was inappropriate.

The Defense Department said in a statement that the investigation is being conducted by the Office of National Security, "with which the Department of Defense and the Armed Forces work closely.

One of the functions of the National Security Office is to "ensure the security of classified information within the framework of the countries and international organizations to which Portugal is a party" and to exercise "the power to authorize natural or legal persons to access and handle classified information.

From:On DarkNet – Dark Web News and Analysis
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