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Certainly they may have been hacked. However, reading through the information below it appears clear that there are plenty of weak links through French owners-contractors with interests in Russia, who appear to be losing/have lost business due to sanctions. So it could have been a leak or intentional failure of the contractors to adequately secure, or simply incompetence. Additionaly, former BP CEO Lord Browne is a potential weak link within the British government. There are probably others within the British government itself.

Why did Britain hand its nuclear power stations (EDF), its nuclear security and even its government cybersecurity (Thales) to French companies anyway?

French Thales seems to be involved in a “cloud” for sensitive UK government information and “currently provide secure end-to- end networks to the UK Government and advise on a number of security related matters…” (UK.Gov; see more further below)

Hackers trading passwords used by managers at British nuclear power plantshttps://nuclear-news.net/2017/06/27/hackers-trading-passwords-used-by-managers-at-british-nuclear-power-plants/

The British Parliament reported:
26 June 2017
On 24 June we discovered unauthorised attempts to access accounts of parliamentary networks users and are investigating this ongoing incident, working closely with the National Cyber Security Centre

The Guardian reported: “Cyber-attack on UK parliament: Russia is suspected culprithttps://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/25/cyber-attack-on-uk-parliament-russia-is-suspected-culprit

Nuclear Submarine HMS Vanguard Passes HMS Dragon as She Returns to HMNB Clyde, Scotland
Nuclear Submarine HMS Vanguard Passes HMS Dragon as She Returns to HMNB Clyde, Scotland“[1] Thales has the contract for maintenance and repair of the sensor and electronic warfare systems of the UK submarine fleet, including the one above, armed with Trident II (D5) nuclear missiles.

Thales is approximately 29% French government and 25% Dassault owned [1]

Thales is involved in UK nuclear power and “defence” security systems, and even in Japan’s earthquake response program. All operating nuclear power stations in the UK are owned by EDF which is majority French government owned.

EDF was partners with Russian government controlled Gazprom for the underwater segment of the South Stream project: “Gazprom buys South Stream shares from Eni, EDF and Wintershall” By Georgi Gotev, EURACTIV.com Mar 31, 2015 (updated:  Apr 2, 2015) https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/gazprom-buys-south-stream-shares-from-eni-edf-and-wintershall/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Stream

Additionally in Oct. of 2012 Dassault Systèmes announced the creation of the first 3D digital nuclear plant management model in partnership with Russian government owned Rosatom- NIAEP. [2] Did they remain involved? It is unclear, but the project reportedly moved forward in Russia, meaning they were there long enough, maybe still there or lost out on business: “3D printing, a viable new option for making nuclear components Russia’s nuclear energy corporation, Rosatom, is in advanced stages of implementing a plan to develop advanced metal additive manufacturing technology by producing 3D printed parts for the country’s nuclear industry“, by Anil Sasi, Moscow, June 20, 2017 http://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-news-technology/3d-printing-a-viable-new-option-for-making-nuclear-components-4712331/

So, who is the UK defending against?

In May 2013, Thales obtained a ten-year contract to maintain and repair the sensor and electronic warfare systems of the UK submarine fleet, including the Vanguard-class, armed with Trident II (D5) nuclear missiles. Thales produces sonar installations for UK and French submarines. Thales, along with several other companies, was given a contract in December 2004 to build the new M51 nuclear missile for the new French submarines. [3] On a powerpoint presentation Thales promises to offer security against protestors. But, that doesn’t require nuclear submarines and weapons and Thales appears close to Russia including through Daussault.

Thales is supposed to be expert at trouble shooting, nuclear security, cyber security, doing vulnerability assessment, system integration, training and simulation and is one of the only technology firms working in both the civilian and military sectors.

In July of 2014, they were awarded a contract for support of control system services “to help extend the life of EDF Energy’s UK nuclear power stations. This follows closely on the heels of their contract for maintenance and repair of the sensor and electronic warfare systems of nuclear subs with nuclear warheads. And yet they seem unable to trouble shoot an airplane battery! Furthermore, the cozy relationship of elements within the French government, Dassault, and Russia should raise questions in this context.

Thales Group is a French multinational company that designs and builds electrical systems and provides services for the aerospace, defence, transportation and security markets.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thales_Group They are approximately one third French government owned. Thales is the UK’s second-largest defence contractor and they make a laundry list of things of critical importance for the military including batteries.

Thales’ role as defence contractor, especially their maintenance and repair of sensor and electronic warfare systems of the UK submarine fleet, including those armed with Trident II (D5) nuclear missiles, and their apparent involvement in the UK’s computer “cloud” system seems to mean that a small screw up on their part could lead to Glasgow (near Faslane), Scotland, Ireland, or the world getting blown to smithereens.
Trident II USG photo of UK sub
Trident II

Additionally, Thales is involved in protection of what is deemed “Critical National Infrastructure” in the UK. They are a service delivery partner (security; electronics and probably modeling) to EDF nuclear power stations and they provide deployable communications capability for the Japanese Earthquake Response Program.

They provide security and emergency management services on the UK’s NDA (Nuclear Decommissioning Authority) properties. They are involved in addressing “Beyond Design Basis scenarios due to extreme natural events” and provide “critical data from nuclear power stations to decision makers.

A Thales powerpoint presentation “National Security Resilience Case Study – UK Utility Sector“, found at wikileaks, describes “vulnerabilities” found in the UK utility sector – one can guess EDF nuclear. The vulnerabilities seemed really basic, like passwords, and it is difficult to see why the UK paid good money for this – except – oh, EDF is mostly owned by the French govt. and Thales is largely owned by the French govt., with help of friends like Serge Dassault-Dassault Family. https://www.wikileaks. org/spyfiles/docs/THALES-2011-Cybeover-en.pdf

They also seem to be involved in a “cloud” for sensitive UK gov info and “currently provide secure end-to- end networks to the UK Government and advise on a number of security related matters…

Furthermore, “The Thales NOC holds List X status, which means that is it approved to hold UK Government Protectively Marked information marked at ‘CONFIDENTIAL’ and above. The NOC is certified to ISO 27001:2005 in the form of CAS(T) (CESG Assured Service Telcoms). NOC staff hold BPSS (Baseline Personnel Security Standard) and NSV (National Security Vetting) SC Security Clearances. Information Assurance consultants from the Thales Cyber Security Portfolio (CSP) work with the NOC on a frequent basis to maintain and continually improve security standards and practices.” From: “Thales Service Definition for UK NOC Services.” http://assets-production.govstore.service.gov.uk/G5/1469/5.G5.1469.012/QD1/Thales%20Service%20Definition%20NOC%20Services.pdf (UK Open Government License 3.0)

Thales Digital Transformation for Cloud
Consulting services which bring a broad and deep perspective across business functions, processes, operations, assets and people; ensuring that the enterprise is ready for the transformational change that adoption of cloud technology brings
.” https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/g-cloud/services/559285698550817

UK’s nuclear submarines vulnerable to ‘catastrophic’ cyber attack sparking nuclear conflict, warn experts Government’s claim underwater vessels cannot be hacked is ‘false and complacent’, report says” by Ben Kentish Thursday 1 June 2017 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-nuclear-submarines-cyber-attack-vulnerable-nuclear-war-security-experts-royal-navy-a7767496.html

Nuclear power plants vulnerable to hacking attack in ‘nightmare scenario’, UN warns Experts fear ‘Fukushima-style’ disaster as terrorists use new technology to attempt attacks“, by Ben Kentish Friday 16 December 2016 16:09 GMT http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/nuclear-power-plants-vulnerable-hacking-attack-cyber-nightmare-united-nations-a7479546.html

EDF CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy is a high level potential weak link having rotated from Thales to EDF: “In December 2012 Lévy was appointed as the CEO of Thales Group.[3] In October 2014, he replaced Henri Proglio as the CEO of Électricité de France [4] His period as CEO proved difficult, with declining profits and EDF’s market value halving by March 2016, when the Chief Financial Officer resigned over investment decisions.[5][6]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Bernard_Lévy

When now French President Macron was France’s economy minister he tried to protect against Russia but French bureaucracy is characterized by fiefdoms. Nonetheless, he forced Proglio to choose between French Thales and Russia’s Rosatom: “Thales chairman-elect Proglio quits in spat over Russian interests Reuters May 12, 2015 – Macron had this month asked the former boss of power utility EDF (EDF.PA) to cut his ties with state-owned Russian nuclear company Rosatom if he wanted the Thales role“. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-thales-managementchanges-idUSKBN0NX0KB20150512 The article further explains that concerns about Russian invasion of Crimea-Ukraine delayed a delivery to Russia of Dassault’s Rafale jets and Mistral helicopter carriers for which Thales is a major contractor. As well, Proglio serves on the board of ABR Management, which is part of Russian Bank Rossiya, itself subject to U.S. sanctions. Proglio serves on the board of Akkuyu Nuclear JSC and Fennovoima Ltd, both created by Rosatom to build nuclear reactors in Turkey and Finland respectively. The EU has sanctioned individuals connected to Bank Rossiya: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32014R0826

Henri Proglio accuses France of treating him as a Russian spy” Financial Times, FT. com, May 12, 2015: “The government told Mr Proglio he would have to give up his role as adviser to Russian nuclear group Rosatom before being accepted for the Thales role. He is also on the board of ABR …

Former CEO of French energy giant EDF and former chairman of the French defence group Thales, Henri Edouard Proglio was appointed in 2015 as Board Member until December 2017. He is also member of the board of Fennovoima, the Finnish Rosatom project.” http://www.greenpeace.org/hungary/PageFiles/636986/Rosatom_Risks_Report-2017_Update.pdf The board mentioned here appears to be Rosatom’s Turkish subsidiary though it is unclear.

Proglio clearly prefers Russia to France so almost certainky must prefer Russia to the UK.

Former BP head appears to prefer Russia too. Could he be a potential weak link in the British government? It appears so: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Browne,_Baron_Browne_of_Madingley
Cuadrilla Chair Lord Browne Leaves Fracking Firm To Join Russian Oligarch’s Oil Company” By Kyla Mandel • Friday, March 6, 2015″

The company changed its name to Thales (from the Greek philosopher Thales, pronounced [talɛs] reflecting its pronunciation in French) from Thomson-CSF in December 2000 shortly after the £1.3 billion acquisition of Racal Electronics plc, a UK defence electronics group. It is partially state-owned by the French government,…https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thales_Group

Thales support for control systems to help extend the life of EDF Energy’s UK nuclear power stations” Thales Group security › press-release
Jul 29, 2014 – “Thales has been awarded a 10-year contract to support computerised control system services at all but two of EDF Energy’s nuclear power stations in the United Kingdom.” https://www.thalesgroup. com/en/worldwide/security/press-release/thales-support-control-systems-help-extend-life-edf-energys-uk

Thales Alenia Space and ISS Reshetnev create Joint Venture in Russia Thales Group press-release Feb 28, 2013 – The signature took place in Moscow, in a ceremony attended by leading authorities from France and Russia, including presidents François Hollande and Vladimir Putin, Vladimir Popovkin

DNA and Thales announce distribution partnership for Russian market ” Thales e-Security Oct 3, 2012 – “Thales, leader in information systems and communications security, and DNA, the Russiandistribution company, announce the signing of a partnership agreement under which DNA becomes an official …

French eyes for a Russian tiger
EUobserver › investigations Aug 25, 2015 – “Russian manufacturer Uralvagonzavod has also published photos of its T-90 tank, which show fire control components made by a Thales subsidiary, Thompson CSF Optronique.

Thales chairman-elect Proglio quits in spat over Russian interests“, Reuters May 12, 2015 – “Thales chairman-elect Proglio quits in spat over Russian interests. Henri Proglio, Chief Executive Officer of France’s state-owned electricity company EDF,…

Thales’ Key Role in Russia’s Defense Industry
Defense Industry Daily Jul 23, 2008 – Over at Moscow Defence Review, Sergey Denisentsev’s “Thales Group in Russia” notes that: “Few Western companies can boast of the same experience of broad and productive cooperation with …

Thales Expands Its Partnership with Russia” (Source: Thales; issued May 17, 2006) Defense-aerospace.com ILA, Berlin — “Thales’ aerospace activities, ZAO Transas and Mil Moscow helicopter plant JSC have today signed an agreement to design and develop full avionics systems for the new Russian medium multipurpose …

Ukraine points finger at Russian security services in recent cyber attack Posted:Sat, 01 Jul 2017 06:50:08 -0400 KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine said on Saturday that Russian security services were involved in a recent cyber attack on the country, with the aim of destroying important data and spreading panic. http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/technologyNews/~3/ywPPu7zcaNs/us-cyber-attack-ukraine-idUSKBN19M39P

U.S. warns businesses of hacking campaign against nuclear, energy firms Posted:Sat, 01 Jul 2017 18:01:34 -0400 TORONTO (Reuters) – The U.S government warned industrial firms this week about a hacking campaign targeting the nuclear and energy sectors, the latest event to highlight the power industry’s vulnerability to cyber attacks.http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/technologyNews/~3/ZVoa7Pqy1ZQ/us-usa-cyber-energy-idUSKBN19L2Z9

Despite hacking charges, U.S. tech industry fought to keep ties to Russia spy service Posted:Fri, 30 Jun 2017 16:49:33 -0400 (Editors note: Attention to language in paragraph 22 that may be offensive to some readers.) http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/technologyNews/~3/F3BQ4ADH02c/us-usa-russia-tech-insight-idUSKBN19L10I

TRUMP LIFTED THESE SANCTIONS THUS FACILITATING HACKING. US CONGRESS DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE REINSTATING THEM: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/us-grand-jury-indicted-officers-of-the-russian-security-service-fsb-for-cybercrimes-trump-relaxed-sanctions-against-fsb-re-it-cyber-products-trump-advisor-flynn-paid-to-speak-by-russias-kasper/

Russia may be allowed to experimentally use its nuclear fuel in Illinois: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/putins-nuclear-fuel-co-wants-exemption-to-fuel-illinois-reactors-with-help-of-exelon-ge-toshiba-hitachi-and-us-nrc/


Excerpted from a speech by former UK PM Cameron: “… it’s great to be here at Thales … Earlier today I was winched from a helicopter onto HMS Victorious, one of our Trident nuclear submarines, and one of the things I did on that submarine was look through the incredible periscope made, of course, by Thales to scan the horizon and to look to see what was around. And it was an incredible piece of equipment and a signal of the brilliance of this company and this organisation…. I reassure you that Britain – the United Kingdom – wants to keep its defences strong, and that should mean plenty of work for you here at Thales because you do very, very vital things for our defence industries and, as your Managing Director put it, very, very essential things for keeping our troops safe in the battle field.” Open Government Licence v3.0, except where otherwise stated, © Crown copyright From: Cabinet Office, Prime Minister’s Office; The Rt Hon David Cameron MP Delivered on: 4 April 2013

In the case of the Boeing Dreamliner fire, the US National Transportation and Safety Board, 21 Nov. 2014, “Auxiliary Power Unit Battery Fire, Japan Airlines Boeing 787-8, JA829J, Boston, Massachusetts, January 7, 2013” concluded that “Critical assumptions and conclusions made in GS Yuasa’s and Thales’ safety analyses and used in Boeing’s EPS safety assessment were not fully delineated and justified with appropriate data and engineering rationale” In the intro they note that: “the FAA’s oversight of Boeing, Boeing’s oversight of Thales, and Thales’ oversight of GS Yuasa did not ensure that the cell manufacturing process was consistent with established industry practices.” While not mentioned in the Abstract, it is clear if you search the document for “Thales” that they are involved in this failure. Furthermore, as the contractor to Boeing, Thales should be responsible for their subcontractor. Is the NTSB afraid of Thales that they were not mentioned in the abstract? Thales is mentioned throughout the document. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/uk-nuclear-and-military-contractors-involvement-in-dreamliner-battery-fire-the-role-of-thales/

NOTES – Additional Info

JSC Science and Innovations offers management services for research and development institutes. The company is based in Moscow, Russia.
https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=291485991 The Russians appear to want to confuse people that they are Johnson Space Center: https://fal.jsc.nasa.gov/DSD/

Excerpts from : “NTSB/AIR-14/01 PB2014-108867 Notation 8604 Adopted November 21, 2014 Aircraft Incident Report, Auxiliary Power Unit Battery Fire, Japan Airlines Boeing 787-8, JA829J, Boston, Massachusetts, January 7, 2013“, as related to Thales: http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/reports/2014/AIR1401.pdf https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/uk-nuclear-and-military-contractors-involvement-in-dreamliner-battery-fire-the-role-of-thales/

(ordered by length – importance)
[2] “Dassault Systèmes S.A. (French pronunciation: ​[daˈso]; abbreviated 3DS) is a French software company that specializes in the production of 3D design software, 3D digital mock-up and product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions. The company also offers social and collaboration and information and intelligence products.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dassault_Systèmes

December 31, 2015:
Floating shares : 50,16 %
Groupe Dassault : 41,18 %
Charles Edelstenne : 6,08 %
Bernard Charlès : 1,13%
Parent company: Groupe Dassault

Daussault also owns about 6% of Veolia that Proglio used to head.
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupe_industriel_Marcel_Dassault Proglio is second in command at Thales https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Proglio

[4] “Thales is producing sonar installations for British and French submarines. In March 2013, the company obtained a £ 600 million (€ 708 million) ten-year contract to maintain and repair the sensor and electronic warfare systems of the Royal Navy submarine fleet, including Vanguard-class submarines, armed with Trident II (D5) nuclear missiles. Thales, together with EADS, Safran, SNPE (part of Safran-subsidiary Herakles) and DCNS, obtained a contract in December 2004 to build the new M51 nuclear missile for the new French submarines, an estimated value of € 3 billion. EADS’s subsidiary Astrium is the lead contractor, whereas Safran, SNPE, DCNS and Thales are the main subcontractors.http://www.dontbankonthebomb.com/thales/ They may have obtained it in March, but apparently signed in May: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/600-million-royal-navy-contract-secures-more-than-500-jobs EADS is Airbus https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_Group

[1] Submarine photo: NE100530248, CPOA(Phot) Tam McDonald, Credit: Crown Copyright, Source: ROYAL NAVY, Caption Writer: CPOA(Phot) Thomas McDonald Headline: Nuclear Submarine HMS Vanguard Passes HMS Dragon as She Returns to HMNB Clyde, Scotland. File is available for reuse under the OGL (Open Government License) Created date : 29/11/2010

[3] Thales Ownership
(Thales Avionics is the aviation division of Thales Group.)
Approximately 28% French govt. owned. Thales is 26.4 % French govt. owned but the French also have a stake in Dassault Aviation via Airbus – 11.1% of which is held by the French State. Also, Thales owns a small part of itself. Nonetheless, the Dassault family still holds controlling interest in Dassault Aviation:
French State 26.4%
Dassault Aviation 25.3 %
Floating 48.3%
of which employees 2 %
and Thales 1.8 %
Dassault Aviation:
Groupe Dassault : 62.03 %
Dassault Aviation: 48 %
Airbus Group 10%
Public : 27.49 %

French State 11.1 %
German State 11.1 %
Spanish State 4.2 %
Other 73.6%
as of Sept. 2016

Dassault Group:

Stock holders Dassault Family
Holding company
subsidaries include Dassault Aviation, Société anonyme belge de constructions aéronautiques, Dassault Systèmes SE and Immobilière Dassault (d)

In 1997 Serge Dassault had an issue of the French magazine Marianne seized only 3 days after start of sales because they presented him as the “Tricolor Emperor of Corruption” (l’empereur tricolore de la corruption).

In 1998 Serge Dassault was condemned in Belgium to 2 years in prison with reprieve for corruption in the framework of the Agusta Affair. On April 10, 2014 he was indicted for alleged vote buying, involvement in illegal campaign financing. http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serge_Dassault#Affaires_judiciaires

Corruption allegations against Thales itself have included:
Centralized slush fund
Michel Josserand, former head of THEC, a subsidiary of Thales, and Dominique Monleau, alleged that Thales has a centralized slush fund that it uses to bribe officials.[20]

Schabir Shaik, the financial advisor to the president of the African National Congress party Jacob Zuma, was found guilty of organising a bribe on behalf of Thales.[21]

World Bank
In 2004 the World Bank’s Integrity Unit blacklisted Thales from any of the World Bank’s projects for one year because of its fraudulent practices in a US$6.9 million contract for the supply and maintenance of motorcycles in Cambodia.[22]

Taiwanese Naval Order
On June 10, 2011 Thales was ordered to pay 630 million euros (almost a billion US dollars) in fines after the courts heard that bribes had been paid to the Taiwanese government to win a large naval contract. To this day, this is the largest corruption case in French history. [23]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thales_Group Sounds like lots of allegations of bribery.