Australian PM says country has endured 'state-based' cyber attacks

Australian PM says country has endured 'state-based' cyber attacks
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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Friday that a “sophisticated state-based actor” has targeted all levels of the Australian government as well as critical infrastructure operators and essential service providers with attempted hacks, Reuters reported.

“We know it is a sophisticated state-based cyber actor because of the scale and nature of the targeting,” Morrison said in a press conference in Canberra.

He declined to identify any specific countries, but said only a handful of state actors would be capable of launching such attacks.

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Morrison said Australian cyber experts were able to determine a state actor was behind the activity "because of the scale and nature of the targeting and the trade craft used,” according to the BBC.

"We raised this issue today not to raise concerns in the public's mind, but to raise awareness in the public's mind," Morrison added, saying the activity has been increasing in frequency in recent months.

"We know what is going on. We are on it, but it is a day-to-day task."

Morrison said that jurisdictions around the world had identified similar “malicious” activity, saying that while cyber defense institutions had thwarted numerous hacking attempts, future protection would mean “constant persistence and application,” the BBC reported.

Australian Defense Minister Linda Reynolds, meanwhile, said there did not appear to have been any large-scale data breaches as a result of the attacks, according to the wire service.

Although Morrison did not identify any culprits, Australian officials determined in march of 2019 that China had been responsible for a hack of Australia’s parliament, although Australia never publicly named China as the source of the attack and China denied all responsibility, according to Reuters.