Medicine

"Defence data stolen from firm using 'admin' and 'guest" as credentials

Some 30GB of "sensitive data" subjected to restricted access under the USA government's International Traffic in Arms Regulations rules was stolen, ASD's Mr Mitchell Clarke told a security conference Wednesday according to ZDNet.

Mitchell Clarke, an official from the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), said technical information on smart bombs and several naval vessels was also stolen.

He said the hacker has been nicknamed Alf, after a character in the Australian soap opera Home And Away.

The Australian defence industry minister has confirmed on Thursday that top secret data about the Joint Strike Fighter programme and other military hardware has been stolen.

A state actor has not been ruled out and it has been reported that a hacking tool, known as the Chinese Chopper, was used. "It could somebody working for another company".

While talking to the Australian Broadcasting Corp, Mr. Pyne said that he had been assured the stolen information was not a risk to national security.

"Analysis showed that the malicious actor gained access to the victim's network by exploiting an internet or public-facing server, which they accessed using administrative credentials", Tehan said.

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"Addressing the Australian Information Security Association's national conference in Sydney on Wednesday, he said that the compromised data on the new navy ships included a diagram which could be zoomed in down to the captain's chair to see that it was one meter away from the navigation chair".

The admin password, to enter the company's web portal, was "admin" and the guest password was "guest". When BuzzFeed News sought a copy of the presentation directly from the department, a spokesperson for the Australian Cyber Security Centre provided a long response stating the data was not classified, without directly responding to the request. This is not rocket science but does require resources.

"Fortunately the data that has been taken is commercial data, not military data", he said.

As cyber security experts backed the minister's call, Mr Pyne deflected blame from the government, arguing ultimate responsibility lies with the company that was breached. "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". "This means that, in the inevitability of a breach occurring, the data to which hackers can gain access is constrained".

Mr Clarke described the security breach as "sloppy admin" and said the organisation only had one IT person.

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