Australian central bank computers hacked

A+
A
A-

A man is reflected as he walks past the sign of the Reserve Bank of Australia office at the financial district in central Sydney on November 6, 2012. AFP

SYDNEY—  Computer networks at the Reserve Bank of Australia have been hacked, some reportedly by Chinese-developed malware searching for sensitive information, officials said Monday.

The central bank revealed the attacks after investigations by The Australian Financial Review found multiple computers had been compromised by malicious software seeking intelligence.

The newspaper said in one attack a Chinese-developed malware spy program was searching in 2011 for information on sensitive G20 negotiations, where Beijing’s exchange rate and currency reserves were on the agenda.

A Reserve Bank official confirmed the G20 virus to AFP and said it was confined to only “a few” computers. The official did not say what information was stolen, who was targeted, and would not confirm the Chinese connection.

A defense department official cited by the newspaper said “the targeting of high-profile events, such as the G20, by state-sponsored adversaries … is a real and persistent threat”.

He added: “Cyber intruders are looking for information on … the government’s intentions.”

In another sophisticated incident the month before, revealed on the central bank’s disclosure log under its freedom of information obligations, “targeted” emails were received regarding its strategic planning for 2012.

“Malicious email was highly targeted, utilising a possibly legitimate external account purporting to be a senior bank staff member,” an official report by the bank’s risk management unit said.

“As the email had no attachment, it bypassed existing security controls, allowing users to potentially access the malicious payload via the Internet browsing infrastructure.”

Six users clicked on the mail.

“Bank assets could have been potentially compromised, leading to service information loss and reputation (damage),” the official report said.

In 2011, the computers of Australia’s prime minister plus foreign and defence ministers were all suspected of being hacked. Reports and security experts said the attacks originated in China.

Beijing dismissed the allegations as “groundless and made out of ulterior purposes”.

Last year, Chinese telecoms giant Huawei was barred from bidding for contracts on Australia’s ambitious Aus$36 billion (US$37 billion) broadband rollout due to fears of cyberattacks.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • junsepara

    Pnoy makapili aquino accuses arroyo is the hacker…

  • http://www.facebook.com/kiram Kiram Ass_Kisser

    I know our name is bad now, but kiram clan has nothing to do with this one.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7NBDAKI2NEZOL7BEFGQ32Q4H5E Dindo

    KAhit kelan dapat di na paasensuhin ang china dahil lumalaki ang ulo… No to china investments… hehehehe

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JKS7Y3WBUOJPOMTYPCRXSKW7KM Franzeline Perdubal

    China, the country of thieves and hackers.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HBX5ADASRZU4SKUFDCRCFDMS44 el capitan

    mag de denial pa eh halata naman china ang gagawa nyan 

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94

editors' picks

advertisement

popular

advertisement

videos