F35 Fighter Data Stolen In Hack On Australian Contractor

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

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

The Poseidon is a spy plane which Australia has bought.

"While the Australian company is a national security-linked contractor and the information disclosed was commercially sensitive, it was unclassified". However, the government of Australia is uncertain as to the perpetrators of the crime.

"It could have been a state actor, it could have been cyber criminals, and that's why it was taken so seriously", he said.

The hack began in July previous year, but the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) was not alerted until November.

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

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"In a separate comment on the issue, the country's Defense Industry Minister Christopher Pyne told the Australian Broadcasting Corp that "it could be one of a number of different actors".

Describing the breach, the official claimed it was "extensive and extreme,"ABC reports".

An unidentified hacker stole information on F-35 fighters, P-8 surveillance planes and C-130 aircraft from a small Australian defense sub-contractor.

Clarke told a Sydney security conference that the government contractor's software had not been updated for 12 months. The security officials began repairing the system in December.

Government cyber officials started fixing the system in December previous year and referred to the, roughly, three month period before that as "Alf's Mystery Happy Fun Time".

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The reference is not to the title of the American sitcom, short for "alien life form", that launched in the mid-1980s, but rather for a domestic television obsession.

ASD has dubbed the hacker in the case "APT ALF", which sadly isn't named after the cat-eating Alien from '80s U.S. TV, but after a character in an Australian soap called "Home and Away".

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said he was "a bit lost for words that you've got the government sort of just airily dismissing the hacking of defence information".

The location and manner of the intrusion is ironic, given many information security experts' longstanding recommendation that however organizations approach information security, they should always ensure they comply with the ASD's top 4 information security mitigation strategies.

Using the administrator account password, Apt Alf gained access to the domain controller, the remote desktop server, and eventually emails and the rest of the sensitive information, which amounted to over 30GB of data.

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Stephen Burke, founder and CEO at training firm Cyber Risk Aware said the incident is another example of IT admin not carrying out IT security best practices.

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