A 2011 breach of the Australian Parliament's computer network may have persisted for longer than expected.

According to a Monday article in the Australian Financial Review, Chinese intelligence agencies that hacked the network may have maintained access for as long a year – leaving the Parliament's email system exposed to attackers.

When news of the incident broke in March 2011, it was reported that China sustained its foothold on the network for around a month. Now, it's believed that the breach was much more extensive than imagined, giving introducers long-term access to “all emails, contact databases and other documents stored on Parliament's computers,” over the year.

The cyber attack was reportedly executed in order to give the Chinese government intel on foreign diplomacy plans. At the time of the breach, China denied knowledge of the incident.