Buy

Books
Click images for more details

Support

 

Twitter
Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing
Links

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« Quote of the day, epic noodle edition | Main | Integrity and the climate scientist »
Wednesday
Dec022015

Oz Met Office hacked

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has apparently been hacked.

China blamed for 'massive' cyber attack on Bureau of Meteorology computer

China is being blamed for a major cyber attack on the computers at the Bureau of Meteorology, which has compromised sensitive systems across the Federal Government.

Key points:

  • ABC told there is little doubt the "massive" breach came from China
  • Motivation for attack could be commercial, strategic or both
  • Bureau provides critical information to a host of agencies, including link to Defence Department
  • Could "take years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars to fix"

This seems like a bit of an odd target, doesn't it?

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (51)

This made me laugh. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology is already utterly corrupt (see JoNova's and Jennifer Marohasy's voluminous posts on the subject, for example), so it's hard to get too worked up about it. One possible benefit might be that the Government might insist that a genuinely comprehensive audit be carried out instead of the sham audit that has been mooted in response to the recent scandal about falsified data.

Dec 2, 2015 at 12:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterMique

If I was the Chinese I'd be trying to hack all the climate science servers to find out what they really think. However more likely they were just looking to take a shortcut to weather prediction software.

Dec 2, 2015 at 12:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Now the BOM will be able to claim that any fraud discovered in the future will be the result of material planted by the Chinese.

Dec 2, 2015 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterBloke down the pub

Why on earth should it take years and millions to fix? Have these people not heard of backups? Or have these also been hacked due their cack-handed IT administration?

Dec 2, 2015 at 12:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

Maybe BoM are about to be rumbled, so ..."Chinese did it" ...nearly as good and unprovable as "dog ate my homework"

Dec 2, 2015 at 12:22 PM | Unregistered Commenterbill

Is it perhaps budget time?

Dec 2, 2015 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterChuckles

Inside job(s) I think. Saves a lot of bother and who could trust much in a Gov department?

Dec 2, 2015 at 12:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterEx-expat Colin

Could "take years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars to fix"

S.L.B.T.M.

Dec 2, 2015 at 12:52 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

I was rather amused by BOM's press release (seen on WUWT) where they claim to provisde "reliable", "high quality" information. Also that they supply airlines with "climate information". In my flying days, I couldn't care about climate information, what I wanted was reliable weather information.

Dec 2, 2015 at 12:52 PM | Registered Commenterdavidchappell

Maybe the hackers were trying to find out the BOM fudged their temperature figures so they could make a better case for more $$$ for "developing countries" at COP21.

Dec 2, 2015 at 12:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterBoyFromTottenham

(Intellectually) soft underbelly of the beast is the most vulnerable.

Comedy quote:

In March the Bureau’s chief executive Dr Robert Vertessy told Radio National that his agency had evolved “from what was once just a straight weather service to what I would call now a more broad-based environmental intelligence agency”.

Bureaucratism and apathy about security (not my department) may result in trusted connections being established to other departments and ministries.

Dec 2, 2015 at 1:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterBernd Felsche

Follow the (taxpayer's) money.

I might have some small sympathy if they disclosed how their system was compromised - but I already know in my bones that it was culpable negligence - and hence the cover up will cost an order of magnitude more - which should be funded from a levy of the idjits salaries and not on the public.

That quote about "Environmental Intelligence Agency" resonates with the monstrous cluster***k that is thd UK's Environment Agency who have purchased software licenences for spook grade surveillance and tracking software - Walter Mitty on stilts with elevator heels.

Dec 2, 2015 at 1:11 PM | Registered Commentertomo

China wanted a copy of the software that seamlessly converts falling temperature trends into rising ones. This will help to bring them into line with every other major country and should enhance their bargaining position at COP21.

http://jennifermarohasy.com/2014/08/whos-going-to-be-sacked-for-making-up-global-warming-at-rutherglen/

Dec 2, 2015 at 1:47 PM | Unregistered Commentergraphicconception

@ graphicconception

Surely they could have got that free of charge from NOAA?

Dec 2, 2015 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered Commenteroldbrew

Were they in fact hacked or is this the preparation of the excuse for when their 'updated' temperature series are shown to be false?

There is the other thing, FOIA might have been looking for the way they 'adjusted' the old temperature records or even those records themselves.

Why on earth should it take years and millions to fix? Have these people not heard of backups? @Capell

They most probably do have backups but they are of the old unadjusted data series and the cost will be in re-adjusting them and getting the same 'adjusted' results that they lost.

Dec 2, 2015 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterivan

Yes, these are the people I would trust with the future of the planet. and I am not talking about BOM

Dec 2, 2015 at 2:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

From the report below it is certain that the Chinese do not want their economy to be held back by the restriction on fossil fuels until suitable alternatives are in place. Their economy is going backwards and they need those 2,000+ power stations.

If the Chinese could find some 'climategate' style (but better) expose of BOM corruption of the climate numbers they would have good cause to walk out of COP21.

I suspect BOM cyber-security may have been the weakest within the meterological world as I would expect all the 'doors' to have been tried if there was a concerted hacking attack on the "industry" generally.

Oh I do hope they find nothing trivial !


http://www.thegwpf.com/new-report-the-truth-about-china/

Dec 2, 2015 at 2:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterjazznick

Ivan

Shouldn't 'Hacking-Attacks' be added to the list of things caused by Global Warming ??? ;-)

Dec 2, 2015 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterjazznick

"..Bureau provides critical information to a host of agencies, including link to Defence Department.."
Who needs info from folk who get it wrong all the time...?

http://joannenova.com.au/2015/01/bom-admits-they-got-it-wrong-on-worst-queensland-drought/
http://www.au.agwscam.com/pdf/Could%20the%20Australian%20BOM%20get%20it%20more%20wrong.pdf
http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/raining_on_boms_parade/

Dec 2, 2015 at 2:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

If it was the Chinese, maybe they just wanted to know in advance what weather records are going to be set in 2016, and 2017 and.....

Dec 2, 2015 at 2:52 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

China is hacking everyone everywhere for whatever they can get. This may have been unrelated to COP21 in Paris.

But it isn't unrelated now.
Climategate scuppered Copenhagen (in some people's eyes - I think it was doomed anyway).
BoMgate will scare everyone who has any doubts about the adjustments to the temperature records. Even if they believe the adjustments were justified, they must fear others weren't convinced and have left grumbling emails.

No-one wants to stand beside a person who is about to be hit by scandal. A lot of the technical input to Paris is now wobbling.

Regardless of if anything if interest was there to be found at all.

Dec 2, 2015 at 2:52 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

jazznick, sadly if the Chinese found out BOM were telling porkies, they'd keep it to themselves, let us cut CO2 and do whatever they wanted... which they'd probably do anyway.

Dec 2, 2015 at 3:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Yeah, the Chinese are after that sensitive temp data. Yoo betcha.

Can we at least have believable lies, people? Is that too much to ask?

Dec 2, 2015 at 3:03 PM | Unregistered Commentermojo

I think this is the telling sentence:

"Bureau provides critical information to a host of agencies, including link to Defence Department"

I doubt the chinese give a rat's patoot about the BOM facilities but as a weakly defended portal to the Department of Defense? Once into a system who knows where you would be able to go? and government complacency about systems security seems to be as bad as it ever was.

Dec 2, 2015 at 3:18 PM | Unregistered Commenterchris moffatt

TinyCO2

I can see your scenario happening, however, that would leave the west with even less money to spend on the stuff they are making for us now we have gone down the road to enforced deindustrialisation.

How anyone here is going to be able to afford to buy a yurt in future is beyond me.

Dec 2, 2015 at 3:33 PM | Unregistered Commenterjazznick

chris moffatt

I'm quite sure that the Chinese don't give a XXXX about the Aussies' military forces either as they
probably have all the details already !

Dec 2, 2015 at 3:51 PM | Unregistered Commenterjazznick

...Could "take years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars to fix"
This seems like a bit of an odd target, doesn't it?...


Er...no. If you are interested in getting ' hundreds of millions of dollars' in your budget, then announcing that you need this money 'for defending yourself' seems like a good way to get it.

I don't believe ANY reports from big government bureaucracies any more. I just look to see how much money they're asking for...

Dec 2, 2015 at 3:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

golf charlie
Chinese gambling syndicate, moving on from football and cricket to easier targets?

Dec 2, 2015 at 4:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

SandyS, you could be right. Historic weather records can be adjusted, and future ones predetermined. That is the beauty of computer adjusted climate science. It takes all the uncertainty out of chaos theory.

Dec 2, 2015 at 4:18 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Could "take years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars to fix"

Depending on how serious they are at preventing hacks and assuming that they do not have them already, they'll need to invest in :

- Firewalls
- Intrusion Detection or Intrusion Protection systems
- Data Loss Prevention software (e.g. Digital Guardian)
- Vulnerability detection software (e.g. Qualys)

They'll need plenty of sys admins so that they can apply regular software updates and patches to their servers : at least monthly for Windows servers and quarterly for other operating systems.

Ideally replace any Windows servers. An entire industry has developed just to keep Windows servers safe.

In short, it's not cheap.

Dec 2, 2015 at 4:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteveB

SandyS

Yes, we will all be playing "Crimate Borrocks 365" - InplaywithRu

Dec 2, 2015 at 4:57 PM | Unregistered Commenterjazznick

An Australian climategate on the way, perhaps?

Dec 2, 2015 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered Commenterturningtide

This won't make any of the COP delegates nervous M Courtney, they've already brazened out climategates and all the exposes of their scams, they don't care, don't give a damn, they don't do embarrassment or accept culpability.

The timing is interesting, granted, but the official statement is dog ate homework stuff, it's all very suspicious.

Dec 2, 2015 at 6:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterTim Spence

"...However more likely they were just looking to take a shortcut to weather prediction software." -TinyCO2

...by doing the opposite of whatever they found?

'In March the Bureau’s chief executive Dr Robert Vertessy told Radio National that his agency had evolved “from what was once just a straight weather service to what I would call now a more broad-based environmental intelligence agency”.'

Or “...from what was once just a straight weather service to what I would call now a gay weather service."

Dec 2, 2015 at 6:29 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

Are Norfolk Constabulary offering their expertise to help track down the perpetrator?

Dec 2, 2015 at 7:33 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Oh Lordy. If the Chinese have corrupted all the data is it going to have to be re-adjusted?

Dec 2, 2015 at 8:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterjones

Ohh ... what an interesting time for another "Climategate" release. Please let it be so!

On the other hand, can anyone believe anything put out by any of the government related agencies from Oz, UK, or the USA? It really hurts to say it, but China and Russia may possibly be more credible than the current US administration. I'll leave it to others to comment with regards to your own government. These are sad times but another "Climategate" release may make me feel better.

Dec 2, 2015 at 8:16 PM | Unregistered Commentereyesonu

Maybe BoM are about to be rumbled, so ..."Chinese did it" ...nearly as good and unprovable as "dog ate my homework"

Dec 2, 2015 at 12:22 PM | bill


.....................

That was my immediate thought............

Dec 2, 2015 at 8:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterDougUK

Hard to see anything of military or commercial value in a four day weather forecast. It does sound like they just want a large budget increase.

Dec 2, 2015 at 8:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterBill

More context.
The Australian Government is about to announce a decision about the sale of the ICON network, BOM is a part.
http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/government-it/federal-government-moves-icon-communication-network-sale-a-step-closer-20150331-1mbwd4.html
A hack is a good way to illustrate the security implications of a sale.

Dec 2, 2015 at 9:33 PM | Unregistered Commenterghl

ghl 9:33, if it was the Chinese wotdunnit, will they now know the security implications of the sale? Will it alter the value, or even the interest?

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:06 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I'm in Aus, so my view of possibilities is that the BoM was indeed hacked, although not by the Chinese (what an extraordinary straw man)

The hackers were looking for hard facts on how the BoM "homogenises" data, given the BoM absolutely and resolutely refuses to detail whatever method they actually use. Whether said hackers found what they were looking for is moot at this point. One can only hope so ...

Dec 2, 2015 at 10:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterianl8888

Wasn't a Russian responsible for Climategate, perhaps the Chinese will bring us Aussiegate?

Dec 2, 2015 at 11:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterTimo Soren

I don't know why the Australian BoM has a computer at all.
They have not used it for homogenizing. That was plain, straight out, old-fashioned cherry picking - no computing expertise required for that.

Dec 3, 2015 at 12:24 AM | Unregistered Commentertoorightmate

Odd.

This is the first time that I've heard that Chinese hackers damaged data and systems rather than just stole data.

Normally, hackers want to leave the door open so they can return...

Dec 3, 2015 at 12:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterATheoK

Paging Nick Stokes ...

Dec 3, 2015 at 12:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

Timo Soren: Climategate was placed on a Russian server to be distributed. Not nessessarily a Russian who did it.

Dec 3, 2015 at 2:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterGreg Cavanagh

The emails. Who got a copy of the emails? http://pindanpost.com/2015/12/02/bom-gate/

Dec 3, 2015 at 3:01 AM | Unregistered Commentertom

I think that the readers of this blog would be interested in this. The province of Ontario in Canada is held up as the poster child for the support of green energy. The provincial government passed the 'Green Energy Act" to trans[form] the energy system of the province. large subsidies were provided to wind and solar suppliers. This has created massive problems for the province. There is a massive over supply of electricity which has to be sold to neighbouring jurisdiction at a loss. Today the provincial Auditor General has issued a report detailing the issues. The following are pointers to two newspaper articles on the report. The articles describe a broken system which is emblematic of global warming policies that are not based on sound engineering, scientific or business analysis.

http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2015/12/02/ontario-consumers-likely-paying-billions-extra-for-hydro-one-decisions-auditor-general.html

http://www.ottawasun.com/2015/12/02/lysyk-doubles-down-on-hydro-one-criticism

Dec 3, 2015 at 3:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterTAG

This seems like a bit of an odd target, doesn't it?

Not really, given the BoMs weakness in science is mirrored by its weakness in its IT security, the BoM servers are an easy portal to other sensitive government agency servers.

Dec 3, 2015 at 8:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterStreetcred

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>