Feeds

Mystery hack pwns Australian government

Email cache apparently flashed

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Parliamentary computers of the Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard, and other ministers may have been hacked, according to Australian media reports.

Details of the reported hack are more than a little vague. Sydney's Daily Telegraph reported that US intelligence tipped local authorities off over a suspected breach, which reportedly involved the exposure of several thousand emails from up to 10 ministers including Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Defence Minister Stephen Smith.

The compromise reportedly dates from February, the paper reports, adding that Australian spy agencies have been called in to tighten up network security.

The breach affected parliamentary systems rather the government's more secure intranet. Speculation suggests that hackers possibly from China (the usual suspects in all such cases) may have been after raw intelligence on Australia's lucrative mining industry.

Parliamentary emails are far more likely to deal with pending legislation, internal party political and constituency business, so this scenario doesn't seem particularly likely. If you were after intelligence on mining operations it would make more sense to hack into the systems of mining firms than those of politicians.

Assuming that the parliamentary systems has been compromised, for whatever reason, then targeted spear phishing and malware are the most likely scenarios. It's likely the US authorities came across the leak after spotting the email cache circulating on the Tor anonymizer network.

Australian authorities declined to confirm or deny the reports, according to the BBC. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.