Computers at Central Bank of Australia Hacked by Chinese Malware

The central bank of Australia has reveled that its computer networks have been hacked by a malware developed in Chinese, looking for sensitive information.

china-australia-central bank of australia hackedThe bank has blamed China for this attack and claims that The Australian Financial Review conducted an investigation which shows multiple computers been hacked and affected by a malicious malware looking for bank’s sensitive information. 

The shocking reports reveals that malware was developed in China for spy purposes was keeping an eye on information related to sensitive G20 negotiations, where currency reserves and Beijing’s exchange rate were center point of discussion. 

An Australia defense spokesman told media that “the targeting of high-profile events, such as the G20, by state-sponsored adversaries … is a real and persistent threat”.

He added: “Cyber intruders are looking for information on … the government’s intentions.”

Bloomberg reports that RBA said in a December Freedom of Information disclosure that several of its staff, including senior management, were targeted by “malicious” e-mails on Nov. 17, 2011. The malware was an Internet URL link to a zip file containing a trojan — a hidden program — which at the time wasn’t detectable by the bank’s anti-virus scanners, the bank said. Six users had accessed the URL link, the bank documents show.

The hackers used simple emails to trick the RBA heads with the subject title of  “Strategic Planning FY2012”, attached with a compressed zip file with an executable malicious malware. The emails were opened by six of them resulting in the installation of malware and getting hacked.

Reports adds that “The email had managed to bypass the existing security controls in place for malicious emails by being well written, targeted to specific bank staff and utilized an embedded hyperlink to the virus payload which differs from the usual attack whereby the virus is attached directly to the email”.

There has been no words from Chinese government over the issues, stay tuned as I will be updating the article as new information come by.


Waqas

Waqas Amir is a Milan-based cybersecurity journalist with a passion for covering latest happenings in cyber security and tech world. In addition to being the founder of this website, Waqas is also into gaming, reading and investigative journalism.