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Monday, March 11, 2013

Australian central bank computers hacked

Computer networks at the Reserve Bank of Australia have been hacked, some reportedly by Chinese-developed malware searching for sensitive information, officials said Monday. The central bank revealed the attacks after investigations by The Australian Financial Review found multiple computers had been compromised by malicious software seeking intelligence. The newspaper said in one attack a Chinese-developed malware spy programme was searching in 2011 for information on sensitive G20 negotiations, where Beijing’s exchange rate and currency reserves were on the agenda.

A defence department official cited by the newspaper said “the targeting of high-profile events, such as the G20, by state-sponsored adversaries ... is a real and persistent threat”.

In another sophisticated incident the month before, revealed on the central bank’s disclosure log under its freedom of information obligations, “targeted” emails were received regarding its strategic planning for 2012.

“Malicious email was highly targeted, utilising a possibly legitimate external account purporting to be a senior bank staff member,” an official report by the bank’s risk management unit said. “As the email had no attachment, it bypassed existing security controls, allowing users to potentially access the malicious payload via the Internet browsing infrastructure.”

Last year, Chinese telecoms giant Huawei was barred from bidding for contracts on Australia’s ambitious Aus$36 billion (S$46.16 billion) broadband rollout due to fears of cyberattacks.

Link: http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Science%2Band%2BTech/Story/A1Story20130311-407662.html

Posted on 03/11
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