Security Market Segment LS
Monday, 20 July 2020 13:40

Australia among countries most targeted by ‘significant’ cyber attacks, as cyber crime costs global economy US$6 trillion Featured

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The prevalence and severity of cyber attacks are increasing at an alarming rate every year, so much so, that statistics estimate that cybercrime will cost the global economy a colossal $6 trillion per year by 2021 - with Australia among the countries most targeted by significant cyber attacks, according to analysis by one software firm.

Password management and authentication solution vendor Specops Software - which analysed the latest data from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and estimates by Cybersecurity Ventures - ranks Australia in sixth place of countries across the world which have experienced the most cyber attacks classified as significant.

“Australia is in sixth place with 16 momentous cyber attacks recorded. The most recent compromise was announced last month (June 2020) by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who said Australia’s government agencies and essential businesses/services were being targeted by large-scale sophisticated cyber attacks,” Specops says.

Specops Software defines significant cyber attacks as cyber attacks on a country’s government agencies, defense and high-tech companies, or economic crimes with losses equating to more than a million dollars.

Specops’ reports that it found that America has been victim to the most cyber attacks categorised as significant (156) between May 2006 – June 2020 - the equivalent of 11 very serious cyber attacks each year since 2006.

“One of the most recent (May 2020) breaches aimed towards the USA has been brought to light by the National Security Agency (NSA), who found that Russian hackers are exploiting a bug in a commonly used email server to infiltrate sensitive data from American organisations,” said Specops.

“In second position is the United Kingdom. The UK has seen 47 cyber attacks categorised as significant since May 2006 to June 2020.

“One of the 47 incidents was the large-scale cyber attack deployed across the Labour Party’s digital platforms during the 2019 general election.”

Specops says that “falling prey to 23 significant cyber attacks, rising powerhouse India ranks in third place” while Germany is in fourth spot, having faced 21 substantial cyber attacks during May 2006 – June 2020.

“Interestingly, China, Iran and Saudi Arabia have each experienced the same number (15) of significant cyber attacks between May 2006 and June 2020.

“On the other end, North Korea has only been hit by five significant cyber attacks, faring much better than neighboring South Korea, who have suffered from 18 major cyber attacks,” Specops concludes.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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