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Australian Bureau of Meteorology's computer system hacked, authorities suspect foreign hand

Canberra: A foreign power has managed to hack the Australian Bureau of Meteorology's computer system to steal sensitive documents and compromise other government networks, an official cyber security report revealed on Wednesday.

The 2016 Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Threat report provides new details on last year's attack on the bureau, which also breached sensitive systems across the Federal Government, ABC News reported.

It is not known what the motivation for the attack was, but experts have suggested it could be commercial, strategic or both, the report said.

Representational image. CNN-News18

Representational image. CNN-News18

According to the ACSC report, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) detected suspicious activity from two computers on the bureau's network.

"On investigation, ASD identified the presence of particular Remote Access Tool (RAT) malware popular with state-sponsored cyber adversaries, amongst other malware associated with cybercrime," the report stated.

"The RAT had also been used to compromise other Australian government networks."

The ACSC said between 1 January, 2015 and 30 June, 2016, the ASD responded to 1,095 cyber security incidents on government systems which were considered "serious enough to warrant operational responses".

The ABC had previously quoted officials blaming China for the hack, which Beijing has denied.


Updated Date: Oct 12, 2016 12:24 PM

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