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Australia targeted by ‘state-based’ cyber attack, PM Morrison says

Australia targeted by ‘state-based’ cyber attack, PM Morrison says

Image copyright EPA Image caption Scott Morrison said the “malicious” activity had been increasing over months Australia’s government and institutions are being targeted by an ongoing sophisticated state-based cyber hack, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says. Mr Morrison said the cyber attacks were widespread, covering “all levels of government” as well as essential service providers and

Scott MorrisonImage copyright
EPA

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Scott Morrison said the “malicious” activity had been increasing over months

Australia’s government and institutions are being targeted by an ongoing sophisticated state-based cyber hack, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says.

Mr Morrison said the cyber attacks were widespread, covering “all levels of government” as well as essential service providers and businesses.

He did not identify a specific state actor, adding that no major data breaches had been made.

The activity has been increasing in frequency over many months, he said.

He said the government’s cyber experts knew it was a state cyber actor “because of the scale and nature of the targeting and the trade craft used”.

“There are not a large number of state-based actors that can engage in this type of activity.”

On Friday, Mr Morrison said he had spoken out today to urge businesses, particularly infrastructure and service providers, to improve their technical defences.

“We raised this issue today not to raise concerns in the public’s mind, but to raise awareness in the public’s mind.”

Last year, Australia’s main political parties and parliament were hit by a “malicious intrusion” on their computer networks carried out by a “sophisticated state actor”.

The Reuters news agency reported that Australian intelligence agencies suspected China’s Ministry of State Security of carrying out the 2019 hack. Canberra declined to comment on that report.

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