For­eign spies hack Aus­tralian agency

The Myanmar Times - - World -

FOR­EIGN spies in­stalled ma­li­cious soft­ware on an Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment agency’s com­puter sys­tem, steal­ing an un­known num­ber of doc­u­ments, an of­fi­cial re­port re­vealed yes­ter­day, stop­ping short of nam­ing the coun­try in­volved.

The se­cu­rity breach on the Bu­reau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy’s sys­tem, which has con­nec­tions to the de­fence depart­ment, was de­tected in 2015 and ini­tial me­dia re­ports linked it to China.

China has pre­vi­ously been ac­cused of hack­ing web­sites run by the US gov­ern­ment and by pri­vate firms. In 2013 Chi­nese hack­ers were ac­cused of steal­ing the top-se­cret blue­prints of Aus­tralia’s new in­tel­li­gence head­quar­ters.

The Aus­tralian Cy­ber Se­cu­rity Cen­tre re­port re­leased yes­ter­day at­trib­uted “the pri­mary com­pro­mise to a for­eign in­tel­li­gence ser­vice” but did not name any­body.

“We don’t nar­row it down to spe­cific coun­tries, and we do that de­lib­er­ately,” said Dan Te­han, who as­sists Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull on cy­ber se­cu­rity.

“But what we have in­di­cated is that cy­ber es­pi­onage is alive and well,” he said.

The re­port said the na­tional cy­ber se­cu­rity agency, Aus­tralian Sig­nals Direc­torate (ASD), had iden­ti­fied the pres­ence of Re­mote Ac­cess Tool (RAT) mal­ware “pop­u­lar with state-spon­sored cy­ber ad­ver­saries” and other mal­ware as­so­ci­ated with cy­ber crime on the weather bu­reau’s sys­tem in 2015. –

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