Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has said that the Australian government and institutions are being targeted by ongoing sophisticated state-based cyber hacks. Mr Morrison said the cyberattacks were widespread, covering ‘all levels of government’ as well as essential services and businesses. He declined to identify a specific state actor and said no major personal data breaches had been made.
Miles Tappin, Vice President, EMEA at ThreatConnect, said: “The notion of nation state hacking is not a new phenomenon and in recent months we have seen a drastic increase across the board. Many organisations and, indeed, governments have been under incredible pressure during the outbreak of COVID-19 and many nation state actors have seen this as a perfect crisis to exploit.
“Despite not knowing full details of the culprits behind the cyberattacks on Australia, one thing is certain. No organisation is exempt. The attacks have spanned across various sectors including government, industry, political organisations, education, health, essential service providers and operators of other critical infrastructure.”
Martin Jartelius, CSO, Outpost24, said: “We have seen a steady increase in government APT groups over the last decade. As can be seen from the wide targeting of this group, it’s important to remember that preventive security is important and that anyone in infrastructure or services for governmental entities are viable and likely targets for the groups. If you work in those sectors, your IT security may well be of national importance.”