BREACH

Pentagon Cloud Bidder Linked to Sanctioned Russian Oligarch

A technology company bidding for a Pentagon contract to store sensitive data—potentially including the U.S. nuclear codes—has close links with a firm associated with a sanctioned Russian oligarch, a BBC investigation has revealed. Viktor Vekselberg is said to have links to the C5 Group, an investment firm that has reportedly worked closely with the leading bidder, Amazon Web Services. The U.S. government sanctioned Vekselberg for his links to the Kremlin and agents working for the Mueller inquiry have questioned him and seized his electronic devices. Both C5 and Amazon Web Services say C5 is not involved in the bid on the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (Jedi) project, which would see military data held in a storage cloud rather than smaller servers across different departments within the Pentagon. Top military secrets would be held in the cloud, including classified details about weapons systems, military personnel, intelligence, and operations. The BBC has found an injection of Russian money in the C5 Group, some of which the report links to Vekselberg’s offices. Despite Amazon Web Services and C5 working together on a number of cloud projects all over the world, both companies deny having a close relationship.