Hackers created a fake news website to harvest data from Australian government officials, journalists and others, according to a top US security company.
The targets received emails claiming to be from Australian news outlets, which linked them to a malicious website.
The website, populated with articles stolen from BBC News, would then install malicious code on their device.
Proofpoint said it had “high confidence” the hackers were aligned with the Chinese government.
“We take attribution very seriously,” Proofpoint threat research and detection vice-president Sherrod DeGrippo said.
“We specifically don’t release attribution unless we have high confidence.
“Essentially, a big part of our attribution capability comes from the fact that the United States Department of Justice agrees with the attribution and data that we have released.
“The reason that we have such high confidence in this particular attribution really goes back to the DoJ indictment, which mentions these defendants…