Defence electronics manufacturer hacked by Chinese

Adelaide based defence electronics manufacturerCodan was the subject of a cyber-attack, allegedly from China, which breached its network, claims an ABC Four Corner investigative report.

While Codan’s Minelab division has previously been the target of corporate espionage in the form of reverse-engineered and counterfeit metal detectors, it is believed the cyber attacks on its computer network targeted its military-grade field radio systems, which feature frequency hopping and encryption.

Codan CEO, Donald McGurk, could not talk about the details of the attack on camera to Four Corners, but said the company has recently taken serious steps to improve the security on its computer systems with multiple firewalls.

According to the report, an ASIO investigation found Chinese hackers found a vector into the Codan network when an executive from the company visited China and logged into the Wi-Fi at his hotel.

The hackers inserted malware onto his work laptop, which then infected the computer system in Australia. The malware contained code designed to target files on the Codan system – specifically, design information regarding the secure military radio system used by Australia and its allies.  

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