Australia jet and navy data stolen in 'extensive' hack

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A mystery hacker has stolen information about Australia's warplanes from a defence subcontractor.

The three months during which the hackers operated undetected has been dubbed "Alf's Mystery Happy Fun Time" by the ASD, Zdnet reported.

A spokesman for the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), a government agency, said the government would not release further details about the cyber attack.

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

Mr Clarke said the hack was "extensive and extreme" and took advantage of "sloppy" security at the contractor.

A hacker stole non-classified information about Australia's Joint Strike Fighter programme and other military hardware past year after breaching the network of a defence contractor, the defence industry minister said on Thursday (Oct 12).

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He said the company "had a significant amount of data stolen ... and most of that data was defence-related" and that some of it related to the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations, which verifies the security credentials of firms dealing in US military and defence exports.

The hack included information on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, C130 Hercules aircraft and the P-8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft.

Mr Tehan said it was unclear who launched the incursion, but the Government was not ruling out a foreign government.

"To the point where we found one document where it was a diagram of one of the navy's new ships, and you could zoom in down to the captain's chair and see it is one metre away from the nav chair", he said.

The Poseidon is a spy plane which Australia has bought.

"Alf" used a tool named China Chopper, popular with Chinese hackers, but the group responsible could be a criminal group or state-sponsored, said Mr Clarke.

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"I don't know who did it.it could be one of a number of different actors".

'There's no way this one IT person could have done everything perfectly across the whole domain, ' said Mr Clarke.

The hack was discovered by a major Defence contractor.

According to ASD incident response manager Mitchell Clarke, the cyber thief hacked into the network of a 50-person aerospace engineering firm that subcontracts to the Department of Defence.

The ASD was tipped about the breach by "a partner organisation" in November previous year.

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