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Friday, 19 June 2020 09:26

Australia hit by major cyber attack, says Morrison Featured

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Courtesy YouTube

Government and private institutions in Australia have been hit by a massive cyber attack by a state-based actor, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says.

Morrison addressed a media conference on Friday morning and said the attack had been carried out by an actor with sophisticated abilities.

"Australian organisations are currently being targeted by a sophisticated state-based cyber actor," he said.

"This activity is targeting Australian organisations across a range of sectors, including all levels of government, industry, political organisations, education, health, essential service providers, and operators of other critical infrastructure."

He said he had spoken to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson about the incident on Thursday night.

Morrison also said he spoken to the Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese and provided him information about the incident.

"The Australian government is not making any attributions on the matter," he said.

"The threshold for attribution is very high. What I can confirm with confidence is that these are the actions of a state-based operator with significant capabilities."

In response to a questioner who said that the media would start speculating that it was China that was behind the attacks, Morrison said he could not prevent the media doing this. But he said he was providing as much information as he could at the time.

Joining him at Friday's briefing was Defence Minister Linda Reynolds who provided general comments about the incident.

The last time Australia was hit by a major cyber attack was in February last year when an attack on Federal Parliament was made public.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.



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