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F-35 stealth fighter data stolen in Australia defense hack
12 October 2017, 07:20 | Erica Roy
Clarke, who worked on the case and did not name the subcontractor, said information about the F-35, the USA latest generation of fighter jets, as well as the P8, an advanced submarine hunter and surveillance craft, were lifted.
The subcontractor was reportedly a "small Australian company with contracting links to national security projects", and the hacker had been present in its systems from July 2016.
"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.
The 50-person aerospace engineering firm was compromised in July a year ago but the national cyber security agency, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), only became aware of the breach in November, technology website ZDNet Australia reported.
Australia's peak cyber security agency called a hacker who stole gigabytes of confidential defence data from a national security contractor after Alf Stewart from the long-running Australian soap opera Home & Away.
The many months between where the hacker was left to his own devices was referred to "Alf's Mystery Happy Fun Time".
Data on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, P-8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft and C-130 transport plane was stolen.
The company, which had only one IT person, was subcontracted four levels down from defence contracts.
Mr Clarke told a Sydney security conference that the hacker had exploited a weakness in software being used by the government contractor.
A Royal Australian Air Force C130-J Hercules pilot.
The Australian Defence Department appears to be in a scramble after Clarke's presentation.
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".
"I don't think you can try and sheet blame for a small enterprise having lax cyber security back to the federal government".
"It could be one of a number of different actors", Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne told the Australian Broadcasting Corp on Thursday.
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