Australia probes spy case at top science authority

Dec 04, 2013

Australian police and intelligence agencies were Tuesday investigating a suspected industrial espionage case at the country's top scientific organisation involving a Chinese national.

The probe reportedly centres on a post-doctoral student who, until last week, worked in the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation's (CSIRO) highly sensitive nanotechnology laboratory in Melbourne.

Sources told AFP the student was a Chinese national, a revelation that could further test ties with Beijing, which reacted angrily last week when Australia called in China's ambassador over its establishment of an air defence zone in the East China Sea.

"CSIRO became aware of a matter involving an employee suspected of unauthorised use of CSIRO computers," the organisation said.

"We consider this a very serious matter and have referred it to the Australian Federal Police. It is not appropriate for us to release any further details at this time."

The Sydney Morning Herald said a focus of the intelligence probe was to determine whether the man sent CSIRO information to a foreign power.

The organisation's nanotechnology section works closely with Australia's Defence Science and Technology Organisation. CSIRO has also collaborated with leading Chinese universities on nanotechnology projects in recent years, the Herald said.

Australian intelligence chiefs have spoken publicly this year about the growing threats of and cyber crime, with Chinese hackers accused of stealing the top-secret blueprints of Australia's new intelligence agency headquarters.

In 2011, the computers of the prime minister, foreign minister and defence minister were all suspected of being hacked in attacks reportedly originating in China.

Explore further: Physicist creates ice cream that changes colors as it's licked

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Australian statistics bureau systems hacked

Apr 26, 2013

The Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed Friday it has been targeted by hackers many times, as they reportedly look to access market-sensitive information before public release.

Australian PM's computer hacked: report

Mar 29, 2011

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's parliamentary computer and the foreign and defence ministers' machines are all suspected of being hacked, with China under suspicion, reports said Tuesday.

Australia spy chief says new building safe

May 31, 2013

Australia's spy chief has declared the nation's new intelligence headquarters secure after reports Chinese hackers stole the building's top secret blueprints.

Australian central bank computers hacked

Mar 11, 2013

Computer networks at the Reserve Bank of Australia have been hacked, officials said Monday, with some reportedly infected by Chinese-developed malware searching for sensitive information.

Anonymous claims it hacked Australian spy agency

Aug 10, 2012

Hacking group Anonymous on Friday claimed to have shut down a computer server belonging to Australia's domestic spy agency ASIO, reportedly briefly closing down access to its public webpage.

Recommended for you

F1000Research brings static research figures to life

21 hours ago

F1000Research today published new research from Bjorn Brembs, professor of neurogenetics at the Institute of Zoology, Universitaet Regensburg, in Germany, with a proof-of-concept figure allowing readers and reviewers to run ...

How science can beat the flawed metric that rules it

22 hours ago

In order to improve something, we need to be able to measure its quality. This is true in public policy, in commercial industries, and also in science. Like other fields, science has a growing need for quantitative ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

OZGuy
1.5 / 5 (2) Dec 04, 2013
Chinese national + spying = Any day ending in 'y'

Hardly news let alone science news!
BSD
1.5 / 5 (4) Dec 04, 2013
Chinese national + spying = Any day ending in 'y'

Hardly news let alone science news!


More fool the CSIRO for employing him in the first place. You only have to look as far as GM (US) for a similar case of industrial espionage in 2010.

Can't believe the hypocrisy either. When they do it to us, just a shrug of the shoulders, if it's done to the Chinese, expect outrage.