The authorities have confirmed that the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has indeed experienced a data security breach. It is likely that state-sponsored hackers are to blame for the attack, and they got away with some sensitive data.
The story began in 2015 when ASD detected suspicious activity on their systems. The report explained that ASD managed to identify the presence of malware on their machines. Among the list of unwanted software was a remote access tool that allowed the perpetrators to break into their systems.
According to the report, the same remote access tool was likely used to compromise other government networks in Australia.
Currently, the damage done to the systems remains unknown, but it is certain the hackers got away with an unknown number of files stored on the computer. Even though the data security breach has since been discovered, the attackers have not stopped, and have even tried to access their systems multiple times since.
The reports first surfaced in December 2015. Some believe that China was behind the attack, however, the country labelled the accusations as “groundless”.
Dan Tehan, a cybersecurity minister, decided against pointing the finger at anyone. According to his words, cyber espionage is alive and well.
The Australian data security breach is not a lone case of cyber espionage. In 2014, certain reports suggested that the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was also a target of Chinese hackers. China, however, denied the responsibility.
Between January 2015 and June 2016, Australia experienced 1095 similar cyber attacks.