Reserve Bank of Australia hacked by cyber intruders

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1259715764editor_IMF_cyber_attack_boosts_calls_for_global_actionSYDNEY – 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 programme  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 defence 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 Aus36 billion (US37 billion) broadband  rollout due to fears of cyberattacks. – AFP / NST