The Australian government received “sophisticated” and “malicious” attacks during a press conference.
The Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed that they had been cyber-attacked during a conference last Friday. Although he refused to expose the culprit, he mentioned that a state-based actor 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. He also confirmed that there was no personal information breached in the incident.
Cyberattacks may not be new to them, but the last conference pushed Morrison to denunciate for the frequency of the attacks has been increasing. Morrison’s announcement was made to raise public awareness and urge businesses to strengthen their cybersecurity.
The former national security adviser Alastair MacGibbon interjected that the purpose of the cyberattacks was more than likely for strategy and to steal Australia’s intellectual property.
The Prime Minister may not have unmasked the culprit, but there are already allegations as to who were the state actors cyber attacking the country. But the scale and timing led many political observers to point the finger immediately at China, which was then answered by Morisson with “couldn’t control speculations”.
However, aside from China, the other speculated culprits are Russia, Iran, and North Korea.
Foreign powers have accused China of orchestrating cyberattacks against other governments and institutions. The most recent one is Washington in May. They have warned that China was likely behind efforts to rob COVID19 vaccine research from US research institutions and pharmaceutical companies.