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ScoMo drops the bombshell that Australia’s been under a cyber attack for months

After polishing off his morning coffee, ScoMo decided that it seemed like the perfect winter’s day to drop a spicy tidbit of knowledge on the Australian public.

“Oh yeah, forgot to mention, our country’s been under a cyberattack for a good couple of months now,” the Prime Minister let slip at a routine press conference (not a direct quote). Was the Australian public surprised? A little. In light of all that’s currently happening, how much are they stressing? Not a lot.

scomo
PHOTO: EPA-EFE

PM Scott Morrison just gave us the heads up that the country has been facing a “malicious” international cyber attack for months now.  Very chill, nothing to see here.

With the help of the Australian Cyber Security Centre, ScoMo announced that “a sustained targeting of Australian governments and companies by a sophisticated state-based actor” has been ongoing for many months. The Federal Government aren’t aware of which country is behind the attacks, however the Council on Foreign Relations suspects that China, Russia, and Iran would be the likely suspects.

“This activity is targeting Australians 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 noted. “We know it is a sophisticated state-based cyber actor because of the scale and nature of the targeting and the trade craft used.”

Morrison continued to encourage all businesses, especially essential services, to seek advice on cyber safety and technical defences in order to counter any possible threat, as the economy begins to rebuild.

“This is why we are raising this matter today, to raise awareness of this important issue,” Morrison added. “This is a very complex area and it requires constant persistence and application and that’s what they’re doing.”

To find out more about cyber attacks and business defences, refer to The Australian Cyber Security Centre’s guidelines here.