Chinese and Russian hackers have reportedly attempted to access details about Australia’s next generation submarines held by the companies bidding to build the new vessels.
The Australian reports that the submarine builders in Japan, Germany, and France have access to the Royal Australian Navy's technical requirements for the project.
They have had to protect themselves from attempted security breaches which are thought to have come from state-run intelligence agencies, commercial companies and individuals in Russia and China.
Germany’s TKMS is one company involved in the bid. According to TKMS campaign manager Manfred Klein, the company has experienced about 30 or 40 hacking attempts per night directed at its submarine facility in Kiel.
TKMS Australia chairman John White commented – “Espionage and breaches of security … you just assume it is happening. Everybody is in that game. It’s a space that people play in. We don’t suspect anyone, we suspect everybody.”
Because of the situation, TKMS, France’s DCNS and the Japanese government now use hand delivered mail to communicate any sensitive information.
The ‘competitive evaluation process’ which will decide who wins the bid will be completed by November 30. Each bid will submit plans for a local build in Australia, a foreign build, and a hybrid local/foreign build.