Rheinmetall tank
An armored fighting vehicle manufactured by Rheinmetall. Image: Graham Robson-Parker via Wikimedia Commons

German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall confirms cyberattack

German automotive and arms manufacturer Rheinmetall suffered a cyberattack on Friday, the company said.

The attack hit Rheinmetall’s business unit that serves industrial customers, particularly in the automotive sector. The company’s defense division — which produces military vehicles, weapons, and ammunition — remained unaffected and continues to operate “reliably,” Rheinmetall’s spokesperson Oliver Hoffmann said in an email to Recorded Future News.

Rheinmetall is currently investigating the extent of the damage and is in close contact with the relevant cybersecurity authorities, Hoffmann said.

Although it is unclear who is behind the attack, the Russian hacktivist group Killnet posted a message on their Telegram channel last month urging its followers to launch a distributed denial-of-service attack against Rheinmetall. Rheinmetall confirmed that they observed a higher volume of traffic on their network but said that it did not impact the company's IT infrastructure.

The timing of the attack aligned with Rheinmetall's talks of constructing a new tank factory in Ukraine.

The war in Ukraine has turned Rheinmetall into one of Europe’s most important weapons suppliers, which makes it an attractive target for nation-state hackers.

Rheinmetall has secured several contracts to provide Ukraine with military hardware such as ammunition and reconnaissance systems. The company is a key supplier of guns used on the Leopard tank, which is being sent to Ukraine by several European nations. Ukraine also relies on Rheinmetall’s production of 155mm caliber artillery shells, which are currently in short supply in the West.

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Daryna Antoniuk

Daryna Antoniuk

is a reporter for Recorded Future News based in Ukraine. She writes about cybersecurity startups, cyberattacks in Eastern Europe and the state of the cyberwar between Ukraine and Russia. She previously was a tech reporter for Forbes Ukraine. Her work has also been published at Sifted, The Kyiv Independent and The Kyiv Post.