Spies had interception kit in Satellite provider’s data centre, ex staffer tells <El Reg.
Defunct Australian satellite company Newsat distinguished itself in a way never known to the public before the company went under: it was so badly hacked it had ‘the most corrupted’ network the nation’s spy agency had encountered.
The company’s assets were sold off last year after it went into administration.
Unnamed sources have told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation about the compromise.
In 2013 the company met with the Australian Signals Directorate regarding a hack sources described as leaving the organisation with “the most corrupted network [the Directorate had ever seen”, the ABC reports.
The network had to be rebuilt from scratch, the insiders tell the ABC.
A Google search for the offline Newsat website still throws a malware warning.
One former tech employee at the company tells Vulture South it was understood by staff that NewSat had Australian Government communications interception equipment in its data centre.
“They (NewSat) had a lot of dealings with Middle East organisations,” the source said.
The Australian Government had refused to hand NewSat a restricted NSA encryption tool for its satellites so bad was the company’s state of information security.
The ABC’s Four Corners investigative news program also alledges an ‘infestation’ of the Austrade network was discovered in 2013 with forensics boffins from Canberra outfit UXC Saltbush later called in to remediate the problem.
Details on the security incident were not yet described.
Four Corner’s Cyber War program airs tonight. ®
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