Australia Assaulted By Severe State-Backed Cyber Attacks

Australia's government and institutions are subject to a continued attacked by sophisticated state-based cyber hackers, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said.

Amongst other issues, the attack forced a password reset of all Australian Parliament House network users, affecting politicians and all of their staff in a repeat of events in 2019. 

Cyber intelligence experts from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) have linked some of the hacks to China backed hackers. China has rejected the accusations that it was involved in these major cyber-attack on Australian institutions with a government spokesman claiming that China country is in fact a major victim of cyber-attacks.

The Prime Minister  is reported saying that the cyber-attacks are continuing and are covering all levels of government as well as essential services, private sector and businesses and being directed and carried out by a sophisticated state based actor. It is understood that the attacks have been happening over a number of months and are increasing.

The attack has been identified it as a nation-state hack due to its scale, the nature of the targeting and the signature methods used.  Although the Australian government has not directly accused China, it is one of the few states not allied with Australia, which has the capacity for such attacks.

Australia is likely seeking co-operation from it's Five Eyes intelligence partners, the United States, Canada, New Zealand as well as Britain

Relations between the countries have been growing difficult recent years and have significantly worsened after Australia echoed the US in calling for an inquiry into the origins of the Coronavirus, first detected in China last year. China subsequently imposed tariffs on Australian exports and warned its citizens not to travel to Australia. 

ASPI:           BBC:     Guardian:        SMH:            ZDNet:         Australian Finanacial Review

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