Aircraft, weapons data stolen from Australian defense contractor

13 October, 2017, 00:55 | Author: Hope Soto
  • The three months during which the hackers operated undetected has been dubbed'Alf's Mystery Happy Fun Time  by the ASD

The ASD learned of the hack, which occurred as early as July 2016, after being tipped off by a "partner organisation" in November.

Mr Pyne said he did not know who was responsible but the information collected by the Australian Signals Directorate was highly classified anyway, meaning the government was unlikely to reveal what it knew about the identity of the hacker.

When asked about the incident on ABC RN Breakfast this morning, defence industry minister Christopher Pyne stressed that it was not military secrets stolen.

"It could have been a state actor, it could have been cyber criminals, and that's why it was taken so seriously". "It could be a state actor, a non-state actor, it could have been someone who was working for another company".

A mystery hacker has stolen information about Australia's warplanes from a defence subcontractor.

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

The secret information was restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), the U.S. system created to regulate the export of defence and military-related technologies, according to Mitchell Clarke, an incident response manager at the ASD who worked on the case.

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More specifically, Clarke said initial access was gained by exploiting a 12-month-old vulnerability in the sub-contractor's IT Helpdesk Portal.

"The compromise was extensive and extreme", Mr Clarke told the Australian Information Security Association national conference in audio obtained by a freelance journalist called Stilgherrian.

However, he added that the incident was a "salutary reminder" about cyber security.

"Moreover, with trust built on the users and applications - rather than the infrastructure - it becomes possible for organisations to embrace a security model built on breach containment, rather than prevention and detection alone", said German.

"The Government does not intend to discuss further the details of this cyber incident".

The Defense Industry Minister, however, insisted that the theft was not a risk to national security, as the data that was taken was commercial, not military. "Breach detection times are not reducing and with it taking between 120 and 150 days to be identify a threat, organisations need a way to limit the damage in the meantime".

Clarke described the breach Wednesday at an information security conference in Sydney, saying only one person managed all IT-related functions at the small business, and had only been in the position for nine months as staff turnover was high, ZDNet reports.

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