The Lowy Institute, known as Australia’s biggest, independent, foreign affairs think tank. Providing high-quality research and distinctive perspectives on the international trends shaping Australia and the world. The organisation has now been hit by cyber-attacks that have reportedly come from China and throughout this article, we will break down how this has happened and if it has been a malicious attack.
In an apparent effort to view The Lowy Institute’s dealings with the federal government and foreign dignitaries, it has come apparent that at least two cyber-attacks have been made from China, as reported by The Australian.
This is a mirrored Chinese attack after an apparent campaign against American think tanks, in which hackers tried to view correspondence as well as information of people visiting its websites.
These revelations come as the Australian National University is accused of being woefully unprepared for a Chinese cyber attack earlier in the year, amid differing accounts around the seriousness of the breach.
“No research, intellectual property or personally sensitive information was compromised”, stated the ANU.
However, senior national security figures have said the university’s systems were so poor it wouldn’t know if any data had been stolen. These so-called “Watering Hole” attacks are often the first step in a campaign to insert malicious software into the systems of government officials or business leaders visiting the website, according to security sources.
Whilst The Lowy Institute has extensive science and technology research, national security sources said keeping an eye on Chinese students at the ANU was another possible motivation.
Security officials have come out and stated that public comments regarding the breach have been misleading as the university lacked the ability to accurately assess what information had been accessed. One source said the hackers may have been inside the ANU IT systems for several months.
This story is extremely new and if deeper revelations come out we will update this article.
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