Chinese hackers launch Cyber Attack on Australian Defense Contractor

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A Chinese hacker or a hacking group named ‘Alf’ is said to have launched a cyber attack on an Australian Defense Contractor to access critical info about the nation’s defense secrets. Australian Federal Minister Dan Tehan has confirmed the news and said that the hacker/s had access to the network of the contractor for an extended period of time.

An investigation launched by the government sources has revealed that the cyber crook gained access into the government network through a public server and got hold of administrative credentials. Once in the door, the hacker/s then used their skills to gain access to critical info which was in an encrypted format.

The impact of the breach is yet to be determined, but the Australian Cyber Security Center(ACSC) has cut down the network access to the server as a precautionary measure to prevent further damage and has asked a third party security contractor to access the situation.

Federal Minister Dan Tehan added in his media briefing that the cyber attack could be the work of state-funded actor/s and the evidence gathered so far points the fingers to China.
Mr. Tehan disclosed that Australian Signals Directorate responded to 671 attacks in FY 2016 and said that his government will take all necessary steps to eradicate such attacks on Australia’s public and private entities in coming days.

Tehan is said to release the ACSC 2017 Threat report today, showing 15% increase in cyber incidents in the past year, at 47K.
A gist of the report which is available as a sneak -peek to our Cybersecurity Insiders says that more than half of the data breaches were online scams or frauds, which increased by 22%.

The report says that a 50% rise was seen targeting non- traditional victims such as those in automotive, accommodation and hospitality along with healthcare.

The ACSC 2017 Cyber Threat report also divulges that the business sector in Australia has lost more than $20 million due to virus emails- a 230% increase on the $8.6 million lost in the 2016-17 fiscal year.

More details on the report will be updated shortly!

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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