Russian Hackers Claim Cyberattack on Spanish Company Refurbishing Tanks for Ukraine

By Lore Apostol / June 6, 2024

US-based aerospace and defense company ‘General Dynamics’ announced the website of its ‘Santa Barbara Systems’ subsidiary in Spain was targeted in an attempted cyberattack, Reuters reported. The NoName pro-Russia hacker group, which often targets countries that support Ukraine, claimed responsibility via a message posted on Telegram.

Santa Barbara’s main activities involve assembling heavy vehicles such as Leopard tanks and artillery equipment for the Spanish army. The Defence Ministry confirmed the company also refurbishes Spain’s old Leopard tanks that are delivered to the Ukrainian front. Last week, Spain announced offering 1 billion euros in military support for Ukraine, which includes 19 Leopard 2A4 tanks, according to local media reports.

The threat actors took to their Telegram account on Tuesday to announce distributing a denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, which takes a target website down via high volumes of traffic directed at its servers. “We sent our DDoS missiles against websites in Russophobic Spain,” the group said.

Spain's national cybersecurity institute had warned ‘Santa Barbara’ in the past few days about the possibility of such a cyberattack, as a company spokesperson told Reuters. The official declaration says the attempted cyberattack was detected immediately and did not compromise the company's systems, while “all of the company’s operations in Europe were running normally.”

The company’s sensitive data remains well-protected,” the spokesperson added. However, its website was temporarily disconnected as a safety measure.

NATO allies and European Union member states have said Russia was behind an intensifying campaign of hybrid attacks on companies and infrastructure targeting their countries, an accusation that Russia called “misinformation.”

Russia-based hackers have repeatedly targeted Ukraine and its European partners, with Poland saying in early May that a Russian cyberattack associated with the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate targeted Polish government websites.

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