"Defence data stolen from firm using 'admin' and 'guest" as credentials

"Defence data stolen from firm using 'admin' and 'guest" as credentials

A mystery hacker has stolen information about Australia's warplanes from a defence subcontractor.

Dan Tehan, the minister in charge of cyber security, on Tuesday confirmed the hacking of an unnamed contractor.

Australian authorities criticised the defence contractor for "sloppy admin" and it turns out nearly anybody could have penetrated the company's network.

"While awareness of cyber-crime is certainly on the rise, so too is the threat that it poses, with the report claiming 47,000 cyber incidents took place in the past 12 months alone".

In other parts of the network, the subcontractor also used internet-facing services that still had their default passwords "admin" and "guest".

ASD is not ruling out a foreign state power as being behind the hack.

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Australian Signals Directorate incident response manager Mitchell Clarke, as ZDNet first reported, told the Australian Information Security Association conference in Sydney on Wednesday that "a significant amount of data was stolen".

Government cyber officials started fixing the system in December a year ago and referred to the, roughly, three month period before that as "Alf's Mystery Happy Fun Time".

The controversial Joint Strike Fighter program has been dogged by years of delays and cost blow outs, with up to $17 billion spent to acquire 72 F-35A aircraft by 2023.

He said the data stolen included information on "the [F-35] Joint Strike Fighters, the C-130, the P-8 Poseidon, the JDAM - that's a smart bomb - and a few Australian naval vessels".

The company, which had only one IT person, was subcontracted four levels down from defence contracts.

Another document was a wireframe diagram of one of the Australian navy's new ships, where a viewer could "zoom in down to the captain's chair".

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'There's no way this one IT person could have done everything perfectly across the whole domain, ' said Mr Clarke.

"They were reaching the chief engineers emails, they were reading the finance person's emails, and they were reading a contracting person's emails", he said.

A Royal Australian Air Force C130-J Hercules pilot.

The stolen data was not classified military information, but it was described as "commercially sensitive".

A mystery hacker codenamed after a larrikin Australian soap opera character has been revealed as stealing sensitive, high-level information about a $1.1 trillion defence project created by an alliance including Australia, the U.S, United Kingdom and Canada.

He would not comment who might be behind the breach, only stating that the government was spending billions of dollars on cyber security.

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