Large scale cyber attack on Australian institutions and companies

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australian organisations, including governments and businesses, are currently being targeted by a sophisticated foreign “state-based” hacker.

“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.

“We know it is a sophisticated state-based cyber actor because of the scale and nature of the targeting and the trade craft used.

” Mr Morrison said, so far, it did not appear there had been any “large-scale” breaches of people’s personal information but described the attacks as “malicious”.

“This is why we are raising this matter today, to raise awareness of this important issue,” he said. “To encourage organisations, particularly those in the health, critical infrastructure and essential services to take expert advice and implement technical defences to thwart this malicious cyber activity.”

When asked whether the country responsible had been identified, he said the Federal Government would not be making “any public attribution” about the attacks. “What I can confirm is there are not a large number of state-based actors that can engage in this type of activity,” Mr Morrison said.

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