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Why BOM Was Bombarded

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) was hit by a deliberate cyber attack late last year in a deliberate bid to cripple the Australian economy, a major cybercrime meeting has been told.

Charles Lim, advance cyber defence director at Frost & Sullivan, told the Trend Micro Cybercrime 2016 Executive Threat Defence Summit that the BOM attack in December was targeted due to its impact on agricultural production in Australia.

“If you think about it, in Australia and New Zealand, you have a big economy of agriculture,” Lim said. Based in Singapore, he said that more than 50 percent of the groceries his city-state consumes originate in either Australia or New Zealand.

“[Australia has] a very big export base which is the food that is farmed in your country,” he said. “If you get weather predictions wrong, that’s going to affect your economy severely.

“These are the new areas cyber attackers are working on and we have to be concerned about that.”

In December, BOM said its systems remained fully operational and reliable despite concerns that the bureau had suffered from a large breach.

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