REUTERS, BBC NEWS (UK), SBS, ABC ( Australia)
CANBERRA – Australia's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that Chinese Hackers allegedly stole the digital blueprints of a $630 million spy agency headquarters, according to an ABC report.
The news comes on the heels of the US reporting that classified military designs were compromised by Chinese hackers on Monday.
This “security blunder of epic proportions,” in the words of the influential Australian Greens party claimed other victims such as a steel manufacturer (Bluescope Steel) as well as a military and civilian communication company (Codan Ltd), reports Reuters.
The stolen floorplans of Australia’s domestic spy agency ASIO (Australia Security Intelligence Organization) in the capital of Canberra could lead to major leaks of confidential information. “You can start constructing your own wiring diagrams, where the linkages are through telephone connections, through wi-fi connections, which rooms are likely to be the ones that are used for sensitive conversations, how to surreptitiously put devices into the walls of those rooms,” said Australian security analyst Des Ball, quoted by Reuters.
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The current ASIO headquarters (Chris Beer)
Prime Minister Julia Gillard qualified these reports as “inaccurate” all the while denying that “Australia’s intelligence agencies fundings have been cut,” reports SBS.
One day prior to this theft saw the US falling victim of stolen classified military material, notably designs for the Patriot missile system, the Navy’s Aegis ballistic missile Defence systems, the F/A-18 fighter jet, the V-22 Osprey, the Black Hawk helicopter and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, according to Reuters.
China called the accusation groundless despite Australia’s position as the US military pivot to the Asia-Pacific area. Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr claimed that this attack “will not hit ties” with Beijing, reports BBC News.