Australian govt, private sector hit by major cyberattack, PM speculates “state-based-actor”

19 June, 2020 | newsx bureau

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"Confident that it is a state-based actor", said Morrison, as he expressed concerns of attacks on a higher-than-ever frequency, especially on critical infrastructure and in private sector.

In a major breach of security, the Australian government as well as the private sector, has been hit by a major cyberattack by a “state-based actor”, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday.

9News, an NBC-affiliated television station, quoted the Prime Minister as saying that this cyber intrusion has been done by a state-based actor.
“I can only say what I have said,” Morrison said.

“The Australian government is not making any public attribution about these matters. We are very confident that this is the actions of a State-based actor. We have not gone any further than that. I can’t control what speculation others might engage in on this issue or, frankly, any other. I have simply laid out the facts as we know them and as we have disclosed today,” he added.

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The Prime Minister, however, refused to blame any single nation when asked who was responsible for the intrusion.

“I am saying the threshold for being able to answer your question along those lines is very high,” Morrison said.

“What I can confirm, with confidence, based on the advice, the technical advice that we have received, is that this is the actions of a State-based actor with significant capabilities. There aren’t too many state-based actors who have those capabilities,” he noted further.

Morrison said that the intrusions on Australia’s cyber network were “not new”.

“But frequency has been increasing,” Morrison said.

He said that the purpose of raising this matter today is to simply raise awareness of these specific risks.

All levels of Australian government, critical infrastructure and the private sector are being targeted in a ‘sophisticated state-based’ cyber attack, Morrison revealed.

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