'Massive' cyber attack on Australian Government

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 19 Jun 2020, 12:38PM
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is set to release a statement today. Photo / File
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is set to release a statement today. Photo / File

'Massive' cyber attack on Australian Government

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 19 Jun 2020, 12:38PM

The Australian Government has been targeted by a significant cyber attack.

Nine News is reporting that it is "of an incredible scale" and has been aimed at Government institutions and the private institutions within Australia.

Australian Strategic Policy Institute executive director Peter Jennings told The Australian it was "very clear" that China was behind the cyber attack and that Scott Morrison was calling Beijing out.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a press conference on the matter this.

Australia has long warned about the risk of the country becoming a target of cyber-attack - and these fears now seem to have come to fruition.

Morrison today blamed a "sophisticated state-based actor" for the attack.

"Australian organisations are currently being targeted by a sophisticated state-based cyber actor," Mr Morrison said.

"This activity is targeting Australian organisations across a range of sectors, including all levels of government, industry, political organisations, education, health, essential service providers, and operators of other critical infrastructure."

Morrison said the investigation had shown no signs of citizen information being breached.

Morrison would not name the state that had sponsored the act.

"The Australian government is not making any attributions on the matter," he said.

"The threshold for attribution is very high. What I can confirm with confidence is that these are the actions of a state-based operator with significant capabilities."

He said there were only a small number of states that were capable of this kind of attack.

He said the act was considered "malicious" in nature.

"This has been a constant issue for Australia to deal with... It has been an issue of ongoing defence," Morrison said.

Morrison said the frequency of attacks had increased in recent months.

Cybercrime has been in New Zealand news recently, with Lion Breweries being attacked by ransomware.

The organisation behind this attack has requested over $1 million from the company.