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Australia facing major cyberattack from foreign actor

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/lolloj)

Australia is currently battling against a sophisticated, large-scale cyberattack conducted by a state-sponsored hacking group from overseas.

The attack was confirmed by the country’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, who held a press conference earlier today, ZDNet reports.

Addressing the media in order to “raise awareness” of the issue, Morrison said a range of sectors, “including all levels of government, industry, political organisations, education, health, central service providers, and operators of other critical infrastructure,” were all being targeted.

He did not go into detail about the suspects, but did confirm a state-sponsored actor is likely responsible, given the “scale and nature of the targeting and the tradecraft used”.

"What I simply can confirm is there are not a large number of state-based actors that can engage in this type of activity and it is clear based on the advice that we have received that this has been done by a state-based actor with very significant capabilities," he said.

As usual, China is considered a prime suspect, but the Prime Minister declined to point fingers.

The attacks have, according to Morrison, so far been largely unsuccessful and no data breaches have occurred. The country’s Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) is working to thwart the threats.