F35 Fighter Data Stolen In Hack On Australian Contractor

F35 Fighter Data Stolen In Hack On Australian Contractor

Restricted technical data on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, the C-130 transport aircraft, the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) smart bomb kit, and "a few Australian naval vessels" were among the data stolen from a small Australian defence contractor in November 2016. "It could be a state actor, a non-state actor", Minister Pyne told ABC radio on Thursday.

"A significant amount of data was stolen from them, and most of the data was defence related", he told the Australian Information Security Association.

The hack was discovered by a major Defence contractor.

Experts at the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) codenamed the hacker "Alf" after the character from the television drama Home and Away.

Investigator Mitchell Clarke, an incident response manager for the ASD, worked on the investigation and states that one of the stolen pieces of data was a wireframe diagram of "one of the navy's new ships".

The subcontractor was revealed as using software that hadn't been updated for 12 months as well as username-password combinations, "admin-admin" and "guest-guest". The ASD appears to have a sense of humor about the breach, dubbing the three months when the hacker had unfettered and unknown access to the network "Alf's Mystery Happy Fun Time".

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This union was offended by those comments. "We as a team are very much on the page together", Jones said. "The message, it will be out".

Speaking to the Australian Broadcasting Corp, the country's Defense Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said, "It could be a state actor, a non-state actor".

"It could be someone who was working for another company". He described the contractor as a small enterprise and rejected any implication that the Turnbull Government was to blame for the hack. "That is a stretch".

"Security thinking needs to change; organisations need to move away from the concept of owned and unowned networks or infrastructure and consider only users, applications and secure access - and the security industry must facilitate that shift".

Stephen Burke, founder and CEO at Cyber Risk Aware, commenting on the news, said: "Yet again another example of "IT Admin" not carrying out IT Security best practices but more importantly other large firms not carrying out adequate third-party risk assessments".

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

At the moment, QinetiQ Australia has 350 specialist staff located across Australia who use their know-how to deliver value solutions to Australian defence and government organisations across air, land, sea and information domains as well as the rail and mining industries.

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