Hackers reach Defence files: report

Monday, 10 November 2003, 2:39 PM EST

Hackers have reportedly accessed top-secret files inside the Department of Defence.

Defence Minister Robert Hill told an inquiry into computer security in the public service about three external security breaches in the past three years, the Herald Sun said.

"There have been three incidents in which an external security breach has led to unauthorised access to computer systems," Senator Hill had told the inquiry.

According to the minister, the Defence Department also reported 13 cases since 2000 of its own staff trying to hack into computer systems without authorisation.

A review of electronic security inside commonwealth agencies has reportedly uncovered a culture of theft and lax security inside the public service.

The inquiry comes amid a series of thefts of computers containing classified information from a customs office at Sydney Airport and the Transport Department in Canberra.

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