Hacker using laptop. Hacking the Internet.
Hacker using laptop. Hacking the Internet. scyther5

POLLIE TICKLED: Put the steal in stealth

Just recently China showed off its updated stealth fighter plane that can avoid being spotted by enemy radar on its way to delivering destruction.

Much of its stealthy and other technology was copied from America's F-22 blueprints. Plans for the US aircraft were stolen by Chinese hackers some years back along with plans for the F-35 and C-17 transport plane. All three planes are in our air force too.

One key player was arrested and jailed in Canada and a report prepared by his team said "experts inside China have a high opinion" about the stolen data.

And about the same time British media revealed that top secret plans for the planes were hacked there by Chinese spies. A senior security figure said computers used for building part of the F-35 were hacked and details of the aircraft were stolen.

They struck here, too. In Canberra, the plans and much of the detail of the computer networks of ASIO HQ (built at enormous cost) were stolen. China was again apparently the recipient of them.

ABC's Four Corners reported the plans were taken in an operation targeting a contractor involved with building the site.

As one commenter said at the time: "Why was such sensitive information on a computer that was connected to the internet in the first place? These hacking attacks would be much less frequent if we stopped setting up challenges for bad hackers!"

Fast forward to this year and a contractor to the Defence Department was given details of our marvellous new multi-billion dollar stealth fighter planes. With the ASIO attack still in the Defence Department's rearview mirror and with our military being renowned for its approach to security, it would be natural that the guardians of our shores tried to hack the contractor to test its security before they handed over any key info.

But no. A casual attack by the most inept hacker would have got them in. With the administrator password set to the usual for almost every factory supplied system (admin), I could have hacked it and sold the results for a fortune.

But someone beat me to it. And the contractor and the military have no idea who it was. And it's pretty clear security breaches like this will surface again. And again. And this week another did.

A company shortlisted for a $35 billion contract for navy frigates confirmed it was the contractor that lost a 1000-page manual for the security upgrade to Parliament House. The company said it was confident the loss of the manual would not be repeated.

I'm not quite as confident as they are. But then, I'm not in line for a $35 billion set of things to lose. Especially since it took them three months to say they had lost it. On second thought, if they can't find it, of course they can't lose it again.

Ho hum, another week, another breach.

I looked at their employment page online and it doesn't say each employee must have used the "My dog ate my assignment" excuse at least once in their educational journey. But if you're applying, it might help.

And while I was on their website, I hacked into their system easily - admin is such a handy password.

Given their bad luck, they needed a boost. So I changed their proposal and resubmitted it to the Defence Department.

Since leaks can be a problem in the navy, I made it say, "The frigates we build are guaranteed to be less leaky than our company's computer systems."

Pollie Tickled is a satirical column.