August 29, 2016
Australian authorities suspect that Chinese hackers are behind cyber-attacks against several government agencies at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Defence Department, and the Bureau of Meteorology.
According to state officials, the attack’s main purpose was to steal economic and strategic information.
According to ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), officials from the Chinese Embassy in Canberra called the accusations “totally groundless” and “false cliches.”
Hackers targeted Australia’s Defence Department
State sources told ABC that Chinese hackers managed to break into the network of the Defence Science Technology Group, the Defence Department’s high-tech research laboratory, back in 2011.
The official declined to comment on what the hackers targeted or what data was stolen. They did reveal information about the hack of Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) from December 2015.
While initially everybody thought hackers targeted the BoM’s super-computer, officials said attackers were after two Defence Department agencies, the Royal Australian Air Force, and the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation, both who use BoM data.
Hackers targeted the Air Force’s Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN), a high-tech radar that provides military surveillance data for the country’s northern and western coasts.
The other target, the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation, holds high-definition maps for the Defence Department, for military and espionage purposes, also shared with the BoM.