News from Sydney: The official computer of the Australian premier, Julia Gillard, has been suspected to be hacked. The Chinese are suspected in this relation. To add to their woes the official personal computers of Australian foreign minister, Kevin Rudd, and defence minister, Stephen Smith have also being hacked. This has brought up the hot topic of use of data security issues with top government institutions and international threat to them from terrorists and hackers.
The hackers have accessed more than a thousand emails from the personal computers of ateast ten ministers according to the Sydney Daily Telegraph. The American intelligence officials had tipped the Australian government regarding this issue. A team of data security specialists has been called upon to track back the origins of the hacking and to estimate the damage done. This team will also work on creating a plan to avoid such attacks in future. This is indeed an attack on the country’s information security.
This incident happened in early February this year. Investigation by four separate agencies confirmed that Chinese Intelligence was a prime suspect in this attack. There were a few other foreign hackers too but the name of Chinese Intelligence has raised eyebrows among the political circles over the world.
In a political move, Australian attorney general, Mr. Robert McCelland has promptly refuted any claim or such news to have happened. He isn’t denying the incident though. He maintained that Australian security issues are not discussed in public by anyone and that their policy was to check things before commenting on it any further.
He also said that Australian Intelligence Agencies were working closely internally to check into the issue as well as work with international security agencies to identify the criminals and damage caused due to the data theft.
“Cyber security is indeed a very crucial subject”, said Mr. McCelland, “our government will address this issue very seriously and we will look to strengthen the cyber security measures within the country”.
How were the computers attacked by the hackers?
Reports indicate that these cyber attacks were directed at the Parliament House of Australi, email network. This network is comparatively less secure than the other one used by the members of parliament. The departmental network has better high-security communication and greater data security features built to prevent hackers from sneaking in.
Strengthening the data system is the only solution to prevent/avoid and recover from such hack attacks on computer systems. This is a global problem and is haunting all major government organizations, businesses and security bodies. Prevention of data theft has to be managed through a data security specialist by making the system fool-proof against attacks and hack attempts.
Data recovery services are also available to recover from damaged computers by viruses or malware introduced by hackers.
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