Mystery hacker trying to sell stolen U.S. military documents, cybersecurity researchers say

The MQ-9 Reaper drone awaits you in a warehouse on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.


Documents give an enemy clues in the potential weak points of the Pentagon is the MQ-9 Reaper drone apparently are to purchase on the Internet, a cybersecurity research firm says, amid concerns about whether the U.S. military is doing enough to protect its data.

The Recorded Future company said an unknown hacker last month was trying to sell the documents for as little as $150 after allegedly stealing the computer from an air force captain stationed at a base in Nevada.

“I have the personal examination of [the] dark web for 15 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” Andrei Barysevich, a senior threat researcher with the company told the Wall Street Journal.

The revelation comes after military officials said in June that the Ministry of Defence of the inspector general was probing a separate breach of security. Earlier this year, a series of cyber-attacks sponsored by the Chinese government hackers infiltrated the computers of a U.S. Navy contractor, causing a large amount of confidential data on a submarine the war allegedly stolen.

But there was no evidence for the mystery of the hacker was tied to a foreign country or specifically was looking to steal military documents, the company told the Wall Street Journal.

Instead, they said that the hacker scanned parts of the Internet to find Netgear routers that were set up wrong, and then exploited a vulnerability to sweep documents from the machines. The alleged documents, the hacker obtained in connection with the maintenance of the drones, which are used for overseas strikes and surveillance missions.

Registered Future reason to suspect that the hacker could be from South America, if the person communicated in broken English and sometimes in Spanish. The company as a potential buyer and the exchanged messages with the hacker, sometimes received screenshots of the alleged stolen documents, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The hacker also allegedly was the sale of U.S. military documents, such as a tank in the operating instructions and the information on the reduce the possibilities of improvised explosive devices.

The company said that it notified Homeland Security about the alleged hacking and was informed that it was researched.

Fox News’ Travis Fedschun contributed to this report.

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