F-35 data stolen in Aus­tralia de­fense hack

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Business -

SEN­SI­TIVE data about Aus­tralia’s F-35 stealth fighter and P-8 sur­veil­lance aircraft pro­grams were stolen when a de­fense sub­con­trac­tor was hacked us­ing a tool widely used by Chi­nese cy­ber crim­i­nals, of­fi­cials said yes­ter­day. The 50-per­son aero­space engi­neer­ing firm was com­pro­mised in July last year but the na­tional cy­ber se­cu­rity agency, the Aus­tralian Sig­nals Direc­torate (ASD), only be­came aware of the breach in Novem­ber, tech­nol­ogy web­site ZDNet Aus­tralia re­ported. Some 30GB of “sen­si­tive data” sub­jected to re­stricted ac­cess un­der the US gov­ern­ment’s In­ter­na­tional Traf­fic in Arms Reg­u­la­tions rules were stolen, ASD’s Mitchell Clarke told a se­cu­rity con­fer­ence Wed­nes­day ac­cord­ing to ZDNet. Clarke, who worked on the case and did not name the sub­con­trac­tor, said information about the F-35, the U.S.’s lat­est gen­er­a­tion of fighter jets, as well as the P8, an ad­vanced sub­ma­rine hunter and sur­veil­lance craft, were lifted.The hack­ers used a tool called “China Chopper” which, ac­cord­ing to se­cu­rity ex­perts, is widely used by Chi­nese ac­tors, and had gained ac­cess via an in­ter­net-fac­ing server, he said.

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