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Australia government hit by major cyberattack

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/lolloj)

The Australian government suffered an “unprecedented” cyberattack a couple of weeks ago which it says is the work of a “sophisticated state actor”.

The media are reporting that the attack targeted a couple of computer networks. One, the network of the country’s parliament. Then, the networks owned by the country’s Liberal, Labour and Nationalist parties.

Other than that, the information is scarce. We don’t know exactly what the goal of the attack was, given that no data was accessed, and there was “no evidence of any electoral interference”.

“We have put in place a number of measures to ensure the integrity of our electoral system,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, adding that security services “acted decisively to confront it.”

"I have instructed the Australian Cyber Security Centre to be ready to provide any political party or electoral body in Australia with immediate support, including making their technical experts available," he said.

TechCrunch (opens in new tab)is saying its sources believe China has its fingers in the event, but “nobody in the government is naming suspects”.

Paul Edon, senior director at Tripwire, says it’s is “encouraging” to hear the threat was addressed immediately, but added that the government(s) should remain vigilant.

“Bipartisan forces should concentrate on keeping the election process free of international interference, and although it is tempting to speculate on whether – and which – nation-state backed the hacking operation, the focus should be on securing the networks as soon as possible,” he added.

Image source: Shutterstock/lolloj

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.