Reserve Bank Of Australia Hit By Hackers

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe’s Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Malware thought to have penetrated bank’s systems

The central bank of Australia has admitted to being the target of malicious hackers, but claimed no important data had been stolen.

Reports based on freedom of information requests suggested spear phishing attacks, where workers had been duped into opening malicious emails, had allowed malware to pierce the Reserve Bank of Australia’s defences.

Hackers hit the bank

Fotolia: Internet security © Lucian Milasan #35089089Some of the phishing emails were titled “Strategic Planning FY2012”, whilst others focused on G20 meetings.

In a statement, the bank said it had “on occasion” been hit by cyber attacks. “The Bank has comprehensive security arrangements in place which have isolated these attacks and ensured that viruses have not been spread across the Bank’s network or systems,” it added.

“At no point have these attacks caused the Bank’s data or information to be lost or its systems to be corrupted. The Bank’s IT systems operate safely, securely and with a high degree of resilience.”

There were suggestions China had been the source of the attacks, but the bank has not offered any further comment to TechWeekEurope.

China has been named as the perpetrator of numerous attacks on US organisations in recent months. It has denied all accusations levelled at it.

Various media organisations, including the New York Times, claimed to have been hit by Chinese hackers, whilst a report from security firm Mandiant alleged a group within the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was behind attacks on over 100 US corporations.

The US Federal Reserve recently admitted to an attack on its servers, following Anonymous claims it had hit official US bodies in retaliation for the death of activist Aaron Swartz.

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