Foreign spies hack Australian agency
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. –