Hackers broke into the parliamentary email accounts of the Australian prime minister Julia Gillard, foreign minister Kevin Rudd and defence minister Stephen Smith, and retained access for up to a month, according to reports.
News Ltd papers reported that China-based state-sponsored attackers are supsected of responsibility for the attacks. The Australian government has not denied the incident, nor said if its fledgling cyber counter-espionage unit within the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) has been asked to take the lead on an investigation.
The department said only that it is "the long-standing practice of successive Australian governments not to comment on the operations of security and intelligence agencies".
For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see Gillard hack a test run for new ASIO unit? on ZDNet Australia.