- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has revealed a “state-based actor” had been attempting to hack a wide range of Australian organisations for months and has recently stepped up their efforts
- The cyber attacks have been targeting all levels of government, as well as other essential health and education services and critical infrastructure
- No large scale personal data breaches have been reported
- The Prime Minister would not say publicly who the Government believed was behind the attacks
- But, they come from “a sophisticated state-based cyber actor, because of the scale and nature of the targeting,” said the PM.
- The attacks are being compared to the last year’s cyber attacks on Australian Parliament, which were blamed on China
- However, China denied responsibility, and Australia never officially blamed them for the breaches
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed today the country had sustained “malicious” cyber attacks for months, with efforts recently ramping up.
The Prime Minister used a press conference in Canberra this morning to outline the nature of the attacks, which have targeted all levels of government, political groups, essential service providers and operators of other critical infrastructure.
“Australian organisations are currently being targeted by a sophisticated state-based cyber actor,” he said.
The PM said there was no evidence of large-scale personal data breaches, despite the attacks. He also described them as “malicious,” but stopped short of publicly stating who the government thought was responsible.
“Australian doesn’t engage lightly in public attributions, and when and if we choose to do so is always done in the context of what we believe to be in our strategic national interests,” he said.
“What I simply can confirm is there are not a large number of state-based actors that can engage in this type of activity,” the PM added.
Despite his refusal to name those responsible, the attacks are being compared to last year’s cyber attacks on the Australian Parliament, which China was accused of orchestrating.
Despite the allegations, China denied all responsibility. Beijing also pushed back against Australia’s recent push for an investigation into the origins of COVID-19, which first appeared in China’s Wuhan province late last year.
Meanwhile, the Australian Prime Minister revealed he had contacted other world leaders about the recent cyber threats, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“We work closely with all, particularly our allies and partners, when it comes to managing the issues of cyber security threats,” he said.