Hackers from a sophisticated, state-based foreign group have targetted the Australian government and businesses with a massive cyberattack. According to News.com.au’s latest report, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed that a massive cyberattack from a foreign government is targeting Australia.
Morrison said in an urgent press conference called on the morning of Friday, June 19, that the unprecedented hack was conducted by a “sophisticated, state-based cyber attacker.”
“This activity is targeting Australian organizations across a range of sectors, including all levels of government, industry, political organizations, education, health, essential service providers and operators of other critical infrastructure,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra. “We know it is a sophisticated, state-based cyber actor because of the scale and nature of the targeting and the tradecraft used. Regrettably, this activity is not new. The frequency has been increasing.”
To ensure that they have the appropriate technical mitigations in place and their defenses are appropriately raised, Morrison confirmed that the Australian Cyber Security Centre has been working with the targeted organizations.
Morrison also confirmed that the number of hackers that can engage in this type of activity is still unclear since there are only a few state-based actors capable of performing such an act.
Another report of News.com.au provided some tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of a cyberattack. Australian Defence Minister Linda Reynolds confirmed that malicious cyber activity is increasing in scale, sophistication, and frequency in the country.
“This activity harms Australia’s national security and also our economic interests. It’s vital that all-Australian organizations are alert to this threat and take steps to protect their own networks,” said Reynolds. She provided three steps for those who might be concerned about their vulnerability.
A detailed technical advisory was published by the Australian Cyber Security Center and the Department of Home Affairs, which is currently available at cyber.gov.au.
“This advisory provides all the necessary steps that Australian organizations must take to detect and also to mitigate this threat,” explained Reynolds. “The Australian Cyber Security Centre and the Department of Home Affairs 24/7 protect the Australian Government, Australian organizations and individuals.”