Australia cyber attack: PM Morrison warns of 'cutting edge' hack

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australia is targeting government and corporations through sophisticated cyber hacks.

Mr. Morrison said cyber attacks have "broadly covered all levels of government" and essential services and businesses.

He declined to identify a certain state actor who said there was no major personal data breach.

He said the attacks had been on and off for several months.

The Prime Minister said his statement on Friday was meant to urge businesses to raise public awareness and improve their protection.

But he also emphasized that "malicious" activity is also being seen around the world, which is not unique to Australia.

Who is being targeted?

Mr. Morrison did not specify specific cases, but said he had "banned government, industry, political institutions, education, healthcare, essential service agencies, and other critical infrastructure managers."

He did not provide further information. In the past, defense manufacturers, government contractors, and accounting firms were among those who reported security breaches.

Last year, the Australian National University said it had been hacked by a sophisticated operation that could get staff and students details.

Australia's major political parties and parliament were killed before the "malicious intrusion" of 2019, which could also be attributed to the "sophisticated state actor".

Who is behind this?
Speaking on Friday, Morrison said it was identified as a state hack because of "the scale and nature of the target and the commercial arm used."

"There are not a large number of state-based actors who can engage in this type of activity," he said without giving details.

When asked to identify a country, Mr Morrison said he would take "no public action."

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Cyber ​​intelligence experts have long associated various hacks in Australia with China.

China is one of the few states capable of such attacks with Russia, Iran, and North Korea - and has no alliance with Australia. However, they note that cyber currency is also common among countries and allies.

Expert Joshua Kennedy-White told the BBC, "There is always a tension between Russia and China, so it comes down to the leading actors they are discussing with [Australia]."

Reuters news agency has previously reported that Australian intelligence agencies are suspected of hacking China's parliament in 2019. Canberra declined to comment on this.

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