The Government Named A Hacker After Alf From "Home & Away" Because Australia

The three months during which the hackers operated undetected has been dubbed'Alf's Mystery Happy Fun Time  by the ASD

The three months during which the hackers operated undetected has been dubbed'Alf's Mystery Happy Fun Time by the ASD

On Tuesday, Dan Tehan, the minister in charge of cyber security, confirmed the hacking of an unnamed contractor but did not reveal specific details.

Those brought in to assess the attack nicknamed the hacker Alf after a character on the popular Australian soap "Home and Away", Clarke said.

Australian authorities criticised the defence contractor for "sloppy admin" and it turns out nearly anybody could have penetrated the company's network. The software had not been updated for 12 months.

Even without this exploit, the company still had used the default username and passwords for many of its logins.

ASD is not ruling out a foreign state power as being behind the hack.

A report by ZDNet said officials referred to the months before ASD intervention as "Alf's mystery happy fun time".

Australian Signals Directorate incident response manager Mitchell Clarke revealed to a conference on Wednesday an aerospace engineering company with about 50 employees was compromised previous year.

Experts at the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) codenamed the hacker "Alf" after the character from the television drama Home and Away.

The F-35 Lightning, the Joint Strike Fighter.

In addition to the F-35A program, the attacker obtained restricted technical data on the P-8 Poseidon spy aircraft, the C-130 transport plane, the Joint Direct Attack Munition smart bomb and a number of Australian naval vessels.

Some of the sensitive data was linked to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, a U.S. regulatory regime, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The attack on the defence contractor was carried out by a "malicious cyber adversary", it said.

Mr Clarke said the information hacked on the new Navy ships included a diagram in which you could zoom in on the captain's chair and see that it was one metre away from the navigation chair.

Mr Clarke described the security breach as "sloppy admin".

A Royal Australian Air Force C130-J Hercules pilot.

"Today, while presenting at a conference in Sydney, an ASD official disclosed information about the theft of data from an Australian company", a spokesman for the Australian Cyber Security Centre said.

"Fortunately the data that has been taken is commercial data, not military data ... it's not classified information", Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne told Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Radio.

Mr Pyne says the incident is a reminder for businesses to take their cyber security very seriously.

Comment has been sought from Mr Tehan and the Defence department.

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