The Bureau of Meteorology, that owns one of Australia’s largest super computers, has experienced a major cyber-attack! The Bureau offers critical information to different agencies; this major cyber-attack could compromise the ability of bureau to provide accurate and continuous access to high-quality water, climate, and weather and oceans information to all stakeholders involved. The ABC has reported that it will cost millions of dollars to fix the security breach as there are many other agencies that depend on the organization.
China is being blamed for the cyber attack
The blame is being placed on China as it is well known for cyber-espionage capabilities that have been experienced by several western countries. In 2013 Chinese Hackers were accused of stealing the top-secret blueprints of Australia’s intelligence agency headquarters. Perhaps China’s history in previous cyber-attacks made it the number one suspect for the security breach. Chinas Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hu Chunying said, that “speculation is not constructive and has not basis”. She further elaborated that “the Chinese Government is opposed to all forms of cyber-attacks and it is not constructive to make accusations without facts”. Asian giant has denied any involvement in this cyber-attack
China Blamed for Cyber Attack on Bureau of Meteorology Super Computer
The attack could be commercial, strategic or both. The Australian Cyber Security Centre regularly identifies hacking attempts. It is speculated that the attack may have been initiated as a starting point to gain unauthorized access to other Government Departments. Possibly the attack could also have been an attempt to access climate data in preparation for the UN talks on climate change in Paris. The breach and manipulation with weather forecasts could affect the normal activities of Military and Commercial Aircraft which could be very dangerous.
Are there measures in place?
The Australian Government is working to review its cyber security policy after this attack. When asked for comment, the Bureau said in a statement that it does not comment on security matters. It was further confirmed that the Bureau is fully operational and that all systems are working accordingly.
In the past Australian Government Official’s and public organizations have also been hacked and the reasons remain unknown. One specific incident was when the Prime Minister’s computer’s security was breached, in 2013 in which the suspect was reportedly originating from China. The Bureau depends on the Australian Security Centre for protection and prevention from all attacks and cyber related incidents.