Documents recently released have shown that in 2011 the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA)’s computer systems were compromised by Chinese intelligence gathering malware. A “highly targeted” email attack slipped through anti-virus systems because it didn’t have any attachments, but rather a hyperlink to the malware that compromised six computers.
Reports of the incident have said that while the attack was minor in its impact, it is still unknown what, if any, information was stolen. The Defense Signals Directorate were tasked with repairing the compromises systems, and would not give any details about the malware used, other than that it was “Chinese-developed.” The attack was apparently trying to gather sensitive information about Australia’s G20 negotiations that year with 19 other nations.
Chinese government-sanctioned cyberattacks are being seen as a greater threat to a number of western governments and companies, especially after a high-profile incident involved media outlets like the New York Times, Washington Post, and Bloomberg News being compromised. Japan’s National Police Agency recently stated that there were over 1,000 cyberattacks against the country’s businesses and institutions, with a large number identified as originating in China. One of the successful attacks was carried out on the Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Ministry, resulting in the theft of a number of documents related to Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.[via CRN Tech, thanks 'Far East'!]