Feeds

NBN Co hoses down 'scary Russian crackers' report

Nothing here to see, move along

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

NBN Co, the company building Australia's National Broadband Network, has found itself having to refute reports in the finance press that its networks had been “penetrated” by “cyber gangs”.

While attacks and scans are the lot of any and every network administrator, the company says the reported Trojan infections never got past a couple of user desktops.

An Australian Financial Review economist has reported that NBN Co's “networks” were infected by a Citadel-based Trojan (actually two or three individual machines were infected and discovered).

The report breathlessly says “NBN Co’s internal networks were penetrated by 'trojans' created by cyber criminals with “advanced capabilities” that avoided detection by its anti-virus software at least twice in 2012.”

(The AFR says the attacks “only hit NBN Co's internal networks” rather than the “broadband infrastructure itself”. This is hardly surprising to Vulture South, since we are not currently aware of any trojans, even those written by the most terrifying Russian organised criminals, that are capable of infecting things like optical fibre or the specialised hardware that makes them part of the NBN.)

As an NBN Co spokesperson stated to The Register via e-mail – and without selective editing:

“We don't believe that NBN Co was specifically targeted by the Trojans. By their nature these incidents tend to be random, and these are the types of events that a range of other companies would be detecting on their networks.

“The point is they were detected. NBN Co takes very seriously the security of its networks and information. NBN Co has adopted extremely high levels of newtork security, and as the response to the FoI indicates, those incidents which have occurred have beem of a low-level nature. The Trojans were detected before they were able to do any harm. They did not result in the release of any confidential information”.

NBN Co told Vulture South the incidents never went beyond individual machines – in other words, users' desktops or laptops infected when they clicked on the e-mail attachment. The malware was spotted by NBN Co's security systems when it started trying to contact its command and control servers.

The newsaper has complained that NBN Co heavily redacted its FOI releases stating that publishing its response information “could be used to identify potential weaknesses” in its security setup. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.