The latest cyber attack against Australia’s ruling and opposition parties was the work of a “sophisticated state actor,” said the country’s prime minister on Monday. This cyber attack comes less than three months before the national election.
Hacker accessed networks of ruling and opposition parties
The hack was first reported in a parliamentary statement on 8 February. The hacker is believed to have accessed the networks of the ruling Liberal and National coalition parties as well as the opposition Labor Party.
“Our security agencies have detected this activity and acted decisively to confront it. They are securing the systems and protecting users,” he said.
“I do not propose to go into the details of these operational matters but our cyber experts believe that a sophisticated state actor is responsible for this malicious activity.” said Prime Minister Morrison
The original statement from parliament had claimed there was “no evidence” of data access, but added that investigations were ongoing.
Australian Cyber Security Centre ready for future attacks ahead of election
The prime minister said there was no evidence of any electoral interference, but that the ACSC has briefed Australia’s electoral commissions as well as those responsible for cyber security within state and territory governments.
“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,” Morrison said.
He added that the ACSC had also been working with “global antivirus companies to ensure Australia’s friends and allies have the capacity to detect this malicious activity.”