The Government Named A Hacker After Alf From "Home & Away" Because Australia

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.

"While the Australian company is a national security-linked contractor and the information disclosed was commercially sensitive, it was unclassified", a spokesperson for the ACSC told The Australian.

In a presentation to a conference in Sydney, an official from the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) intelligence agency said technical information on smart bombs, the Joint Strike Fighter, the Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and several naval vessels was stolen.

However, he said "we don't necessarily let the public know" about the identities of hackers, because of the confidential nature of the environment.

Clarke said the attacker accessed the small contractor's systems for five months in 2016, and the "methodical, slow and deliberate", choice of target suggested a nation-state actor could be behind the raid.

"Of course, the same rule applies for companies who carry sensitive data because it is not a question of "if" but "when" you will be breached, and I don't accept making it easy either", he said.

Mr Clarke said the information hacked on the new Navy ships included a diagram in which you could zoom in down to the captain's chair and see it was one metre away from the navigation chair. In 2011 for example, a major Japanese defence contractor was hacked.

"The compromise was extensive and extreme", said the official, Mitchell Clarke, in an audio recording made by a ZDNet journalist and broadcast by the ABC.

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"Once again, the latest cyber-attack on the Australian defence programme highlights fundamental flaws in current security models".

The 50-person aerospace engineering firm subcontracts to the Defence Department and had one person managing its IT functions.

Mr Clarke described the security breach as "sloppy admin".

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.

Earlier this week, it emerged Australia has been subjected to 47,000 cyber incidents in the last 12 months - a 15% increase on the previous year.

"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". "This means that, in the inevitability of a breach occurring, the data to which hackers can gain access is constrained".

He faced little resistance, and gained access through a security vulnerability in the company's Helpdesk portal, says the report.

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