Asian Data Center Pacnet Hit With Major Cyber Attack
Pacnet, underwater cable operator from Asia which was recently acquired by Australian telecom leader Telstra, has been hit with major cyber attack. Pacnet holds more than 3 thousand kilometers of underwater cables providing China with VPN service and is one of the few Western providers having own data centers in China. Because of security breach Telstra is considering a legal action against 3 investment companies that sold Pacnet for $697 million.
The major cyber attack affected thousands of costumers including governmental organizations such as Australian Federal Police, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and others. Hackers used security vulnerability in Pacnet’s SQL enabling them to upload malicous software in the corporate network, thus granting them access. As a result administration and user credentials have been stolen including that of Australian Federal Police.
It was probably the worst moment for Telstra to experience such attack, since it is making major attempts to increase profits and revenues from Asia using Pacnet’s infrastructure.
According to Telstra Group Executive of Global Enterprise Services, Brendon Riley:
“A third party had attained access to Pacnet’s corporate IT network, including email and other administrative systems, through a SQL vulnerability that enabled malicious software to be uploaded to the network. We don’t have any evidence of who made the breach and the networks … are secure. We don’t know the reason behind it, we don’t know the people involved and indeed our focus is not on attribution … but taking steps to remedy and prevent any further issues.”
Fortunately for Telstra, company’s network was not yet connected to Pacnet and it was not affected by this cyber attack.