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Crack Chinese hacking agents are increasingly targeting Australian companies to learn their trade secrets, cyber security outfit Mandiant claims.

Mark Goudie, lead Australian investigator at Mandiant, said Australian mining and resources companies had been key targets during periods of commodity price fluctuations, merger and acquisition discussions and contract negotiations.

“In a number of cases Chinese state-owned enterprises have been involved in business relationships with the Australian companies at the time of compromise,” he told the Australian Financial Review.

The hacks have been brought about for two reasons, according to Goudie: the hunt for more details amid close dealings with Chinese enterprises’ and the stealing of intellectual property.

Local Mandiant clients are said to include NBN Co, National Australia Bank, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank, but it is not clear  if any of these establishments have been compromised.
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