Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Chinese hackers breach ANU, putting national security at risk

Chinese hackers breach ANU, putting national security at risk

Among the potentially sensitive defense research conducted by the ANU is an ongoing project with the Defense Materials Technology Center to enhance the use of drones and small satellites.
The ANU is also home to the National Security College, which trains Australian defense and intelligence officials, and often hosts meetings with senior national security officials in a secure room regularly swept to listen to ASIO devices.
A spokesman for the university confirmed the violation, saying the university was "working to contain a threat to the inside of the university"
"L & # 39. University has worked in partnership with Australian government agencies for several months to minimize the impact of this threat, and we continue to seek and receive advice from Australian government agencies, "he said.
"Current assessments do not indicate staff, information on students or research has been taken and countermeasures have been undertaken."
Alex Joske, a Chinese researcher for the International Cyber ​​Policy Center of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said the cyber attack was an important alarm bell.
"The ANU is involved in major Australian government projects, and this hack could have aimed to steal information for commercial gain or for strategic or technological gain for the Chinese army," said Joske.
"There was a lack of caution from Australian universities in their dealings with China, and Australian universities must continue to work closely with the Australian government on information technology."
L & # 39. Attack raises questions about China's compliance with an agreement that Beijing has struck with the Turnbull government in April of last year. The two countries have promised not to hack each other to steal intellectual property, trade secrets or confidential information.
The agreement, signed after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull raised the cybertheft directly with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, includes a mechanism for raising problems and incidents that could cause problems between the two countries.
The Turnbull government has taken into consideration the role of government agencies such as the Australian Directorate of Signals in protecting the critical infrastructure of the nation. It is understood that he is closely observing the British National Cyber ​​Security Center, which plays an active role in blocking cyberattacks against organizations outside the British government.
Experts like Dorothy Denning, a professor of defense analysis at the US Naval Postgraduate School, said that China used hackers to steal "more secrets from companies and governments than any other country".
In 2015, it was revealed that hackers directed by a foreign government had infiltrated the IT system of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology using malicious software, known as "malware". The intrusion has led to information theft and potentially compromised the information systems of other government agencies. The experts also accused China of this attack.
A statement by the Minister for Law Enforcement and Information Security, Angus Taylor, said that the Australian Cyber ​​Security Center has worked with the university for several months "to provide support in this regard ".
"The Australian government condemns the harmful activities affecting Australian and Australian networks.
" We know that nation states and criminal groups are actively turning to research and tertiary institutions to steal the intellectual property of industrious Australians. "
Taylor stated that" cybernetic activity against Australian national interests, originating from criminal syndicates or from foreign states, is increasing in frequency, sophistication and severity and the highest priority of the Australian Government is to ensure that Australians are safe and that our interests are safe. "
hackers were previously blamed for Titan Rain's cyber attacks in the United States, which involved sensitive information from private and public agencies. of cyberattacks fell after the US and China governments agreed in 2015 to stop cyber hacking of government-sponsored trade secrets.
President Donald Trump also accused China of using hackers to steal intellectual property of the United States
there have been requests from Australian computer security experts for the Australian government to "name and shame" the countries behind state-sponsored hacking after a serious breach of a defense subcontractor.
Thirty gigabytes of unclassified but commercially sensitive data have been stolen by hackers who access the systems of a subcontractor of the Department of Defense with inefficient security protocols. The data included information on the $ 14 billion Joint Strike Fighter program, the upcoming fleet of Australian spy planes and many of its naval warships.
While the Australian government did not blame any country for the attack, a senior cyber security official suggested it was carried out by state-sponsored hackers and that a tool popular with Chinese hackers was used to perform the violation .