Major breach … the Bureau of Meteorology’s supercomputer has been attacked.

THE Bureau of Meteorology has had its sensitive systems compromised by a major cyber attack being blamed on China.

The ABC reports the breach is “massive”, with the bureau owning one of the country’s largest supercomputers.

Its systems have a link to the Department of Defence at Russell Offices in Canberra, the report says.

The cost of fixing the breach has not been determined, and the time needed to repair it is also unclear.

The weather bureau’s services are vital in warning of weather conditions associated with bushfires, thunderstorms, tropical cyclones, flooding, rain, and dangerous winds.

They are also essential to the economic livelihood of the nation, assisting the construction, resources, agriculture and marine industries and those who keep our international trade routes open.

Crucial role ... the Bureau of Meteorology assists many government agencies. Picture: BOM

Crucial role … the Bureau of Meteorology assists many government agencies. Picture:

The nation’s defence forces depend on a wide range of the weather bureau’s products, ranging from specialist forecasts for pilots to ocean forecasts for naval operations.

The news comes after funding for the weather bureau’s new supercomputer was recently announced by the Australian Government in the 2014-15 Federal Budget.

Due to be delivered by mid-2016, the new computer will come from global supercomputer leader Cray Inc after a $US59 million contract was signed.

Weather forecasts and warnings across the country have been promised to be more accurate and deliver faster updates once this supercomputer is installed.

The supercomputer will deliver about 16 times the capacity of the weather bureau’s current computer.

This will enable the bureau to issue forecasts and warnings more often and with greater certainty and precision than ever before, giving the community and emergency services unprecedented information, particularly prior to and during severe and extreme weather.

In a statement the BOM said it did not comment on security matters.

“Like all government agencies, we work closely with the Australian government security agencies,” it said.

“The bureau’s systems are fully operational and the bureau continues to provide reliable, on-going access to high-quality weather, climate, water and oceans information to its stakeholders.”


By Adam