The ASIO building in Canberra, target of a Chinese hacking raid, according to a TV report. Photo: Graham Tidy
Chinese hackers stole the blueprints of the $630 million building that will house the Australia Security Intelligence Organisation, according to an ABC Four Corners report.
The report also alleges Australian government and business networks are under much heavier cyber attacks than the government has admitted.
Separately, spy agencies expressed concern budget savings could impair their ability to do their job to a parliamentary inquiry.
The Labor chairman of the parliamentary intelligence committee, Anthony Byrne, said the "efficiency dividend" impact on the intelligence agencies was "unacceptable, astonishing and disgraceful''.
SOPHISTICATED SECURITY FEATURES
The ASIO building, which overlooks Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra, has been plagued by construction delays, will have the most sophisticated security features of any building in Canberra.
Four Corners alleges that not only plans to the building were stolen but also details of the communications cabling, server locations, floor plans and security systems.
A hit was made on a site contractor's systems and traced to a server in China.
One of Australia's leading cyber analysts, Des Ball, told Four Corners that if ASIO's blueprints had been stolen it could mean having to gut the building and start again.
The report claims Chinese hackers stole confidential information from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which houses the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, an overseas spy agency, and restricted information from the Defence Department.
CONCERN WITHIN INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES
It can now be revealed that one of two cyber attacks on the Reserve Bank of Australia, which The Australian Financial Review revealed in March, was a highly "classified" incident that was not meant to be publicly disclosed, and was investigated by the Defence Signals Directorate.
The publication of information about the incident is understood to have caused significant concern within intelligence agencies.
After inquiries by the Financial Review, Reserve Bank officials revealed the central bank was infiltrated by a malicious Chinese-developed program seeking intelligence on sensitive G20 negotiations. Multiple computers were compromised. The Reserve Bank said it had "no evidence" information was stolen, but did not deny the incident was classified.
The Financial Review has also learned that computers at Australia's Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation have been infected by malicious software.
In response to a freedom of information request by the Financial Review, ANSTO disclosed that 15 of its computers were infected by a "standard malware" in 2008, although it said no confidential information, or the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor, were affected but would not release details.
AUSTRALIAN COMPANIES UNDER SIEGE
Four Corners alleged Australian companies with interests in China are under siege, including Codan Ltd which has had to bolster its cyber defences after details of its metal detectors were stolen, and BlueScope Steel which the show alleged could have been attacked by Chinese hackers looking to steal the secrets of its Colorbond processes.
Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus told the program he had no comment on "operational or intelligence matters''.
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