Katia hacker trail led investigators to Greece, the tip of a huge iceberg in increasingly dangerous cyberspace

An unprecedented hacker attack on a major French arms manufacturer a few months ago sent French secret agents and private detectives on a search for the guilty parties, following a trail that led them to Athens. Among the culprits were a 55-year-old Greek mathematician and computer programmer living in Athens and his 40-year-old British accomplice, who lives in West London. Although the two rarely met, they were extremely efficient, managing to break into the French manufacturer’s security systems, gain access to its internal network and steal the software the firm used to construct the next generation of fighter aircraft. The software, code-named Katia, is considered the most expensive on the market and the cost of the attack amounted to over 360 million dollars. Greek police (ELAS) officials told Kathimerini that the perpetrators broke the software up into separate programs they then sold over the Internet. More than 2,500 users, including rival defense industries, bought parts of the software, copying secret plans and sensitive information. Foreign agents, in cooperation with Electronic Crime Squad, found the two hackers and charged them. The case is pending.