Sensitive Data on Australia's New Jets and Navy Stolen From Defense Contractor

13 October, 2017, 00:57 | Author: Wilson Dawson
  • The data stolen in a 2016 breach included technical information on the multi-billion dollar F-35A Joint Strike Fighter program smart bombs and naval vessels

It is reported that 30GB of data was stolen, after the network of a small Australian defence contractor was breached.

Mr Pyne said the stolen information was not classified and a major defence company had alerted the contractor and government to the breach.

The report mentions that the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) had named the advanced persistent threat (APT) as "Alf".

He said the hacker has been nicknamed Alf, after a character in the Australian soap opera Home And Away. It could be a state actor or a non-state actor.

The company had used default logins and passwords such as "admin" and "guest" and had only one person working on IT.

"While the Australian company is a national-security linked contractor and the information disclosed was commercially sensitive, it was unclassified", they said in a statement on Wednesday evening.


Approximately 30GB of data was compromised during a hack on a government contractor.

"The compromise was extensive and extreme", said the official, Mitchell Clarke, in an audio recording made by a ZDNet journalist and broadcast by the ABC. The unnamed organization notified the ASD that it was hacked in November of 2016, and that outside parties gained access to its network.

The 50-person aerospace engineering firm was compromised in July past year but the national cyber security agency, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), became aware of the breach only in November, technology website ZDNet Australia reported.

Stephen Burke, founder and CEO at Cyber Risk Aware, commenting on the news, said: "Yet again another example of "IT Admin" not carrying out IT Security best practices but more importantly other large firms not carrying out adequate third-party risk assessments". This is not rocket science but does require resources. The incident, Pyne concluded, was a "salutary reminder" about cyber security.

"Su Bin admitted to playing an important role in a conspiracy, originating in China, to illegally access sensitive military data, including data relating to military aircraft that are indispensable in keeping our military personnel safe", John P. Carlin, then the USA assistant attorney general for national security, said at the time. The government agency is responsible for foreign signals intelligence collection, and also houses the country's Australian Cyber Security Center.

"Collectively, the industry needs to embrace a new approach to security". "Taking this model and securing it with cryptographic segmentation allows an organisation to embrace zero trust irrespective of infrastructure, of data centre locations, new cloud deployments, and / or the desire of workers to hang out in the local coffee shop". Nominations are now open for the Women in IT USA Awards 2018.

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