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

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Restricted technical data on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, the C-130 transport aircraft, the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) smart bomb kit, and "a few Australian naval vessels" were among the data stolen from a small Australian defence contractor in November 2016.

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".

It dubbed the hacker "ALF", after a character in TV soap opera Home and Away.

Pyne said there were "upwards of 4000" businesses in Australia that worked in various defence industries. "It's just a thing we do", he said.

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".

Even without this exploit, the company still had used the default username and passwords for many of its logins. He said the organisation only had one IT person and that person had only been in the job for a short while.

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The hackers used a tool called "China Chopper" which according to security experts is widely used by Chinese actors, and had gained access via an internet-facing server, he said.

"We see this all the time".

In a statement sent to Defence Connect, a spokesperson from the ACSC said the information stolen by an unknown cyber thief was commercially sensitive but not classified.

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.

"Fortunately the data that has been taken is commercial data, not military data", Pyne said.

The federal minister for cybersecurity Dan Tehan revealed the breach earlier this week through the release of the Australian Cyber Security Centre's 2017 Threat Report, but provided no detail specifically about the Alf incident.

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"It's not classified information".

Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said the government is unsure of the identity of the hacker and whether they are state or non-state actor.

The data about Australia's warplanes and navy ships was stolen from an Adelaide Defence subcontractor which had one I.T. specialist and used extremely easy passwords.

"It could be a state actor, [or] a non-state actor".

"It could be someone who was working for another company".

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