Portuguese Court Opens Investigation into Stolen NATO Documents

The Portuguese court has opened an investigation into some confidential NATO documents that were put up for sale via the dark web last week.

The investigation is being conducted by the Public Prosecution Service of the Central Directorate of Investigation and Criminal Law (DCIAP). The Public Prosecution Service announced this on Tuesday.

“We confirm that an investigation is underway,” a spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office said. The Portuguese court’s response follows a report in Diario de Noticias newspaper last Thursday that some confidential documents were circulating on the dark web and were even offered for sale.

The theft of the documents happened after a cyber attack led by pre-programmed bots. These bots specifically search for these kinds of documents and are aimed at the general staff of the army and military intelligence services.

The incident was discovered by US intelligence and then reported to Portuguese authorities through the US embassy in Lisbon last August.

The investigation by Portuguese cybersecurity agencies is said to have identified the Armed Forces General Staff, Military Intelligence and a Department of the Ministry of Defense as the targets of the cyberattack, the newspaper said.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa’s cabinet reiterated what he also told the newspaper that the government is doing everything it can to preserve Portugal’s credibility as a founding member of the Atlantic Alliance.

“Any suspicion of interference is subject to a lengthy analysis of the situation, and all measures are taken to raise awareness of cybersecurity,” he concludes. However, there was no confirmation or denial from the cabinet that the documents in question were stolen.

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