Spy agency hit by power outage

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Back-up power failed at a mission critical electronic spy agency, when a cable fault cut off energy supply and officials have warned that ageing infrastructure is posing a threat to national security operations.

According to a report in The Canberra Times, defence officials told a parliamentary inquiry hearing that the Australian Signals Directorate, which prevents national cyber-attacks, lost power to one of its two buildings for two hours during an outage.

The facility was reported to be relying on diesel generators needing parts no longer manufactured to prevent a power shut-down. Defence officials warned that the agency, which counters cyber espionage, risks power failures that could jeopardise government security unless three 50-year-old generators are replaced in a $75m overhaul of its back-up energy and cooling systems.

The report highlights the importance of investing in critical infrastructure and ensuring back-up generators are adequately maintained and fit-for-purpose.

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