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article imageSecurity weaknesses behind the Australian cyberattacks Special

By Tim Sandle     Jun 23, 2020 in Technology
Australia has experienced a major state-based cyber attack, affecting all levels of government as well as essential services and businesses. Tim Wellsmore, Mandiant Government Solutions looks at the lessons.
The BBC has reported that Australia's government and institutions are being targeted by ongoing sophisticated state-based cyber hacks. Based on the information provided in the Australian Government ACSC advisory on this issue is very detailed and provides good guidance and serves as a timely reminder to ensure organisations maintain vigilance in the cyber security programs.
The attack struck organizations across a range of sectors, such as all areas government, industry, political organizations, education, health, central service providers, and operators of other critical infrastructure.
To gain an expert insight into the cyberatacks, Digital Journal caught up with Tim Wellsmore, Mandiant Government Solutions, Asia Pacific. Wellsmore thinks the attacks are not all that surprising and they provide a salutary lesson for the digital age.
Wellsmore begins by explaining: "The announcement is a reminder of the level of serious cyber threat activity that occurs. There have been a significant number of high profile incidents reported in Australia in recent times, and this adds another report of significant cyber threat activity to the mix."
The background of the attacks suggests a major state actor, says Wellsmore, noting: "The consistent message is that this was state sponsored activity which raises the national security focus of the announcement. There is considerable geo-political tension occurring at the moment involving Australia." According to ABC News, China is believed to be behind this major cyber attack on Australian government and businesses.
There are likely to be other attacks going forwards, says Wellsmore, impacting not only Australia, but other nations as well: "We are seeing an increasing focus by both state sponsored and criminal cyber threat actors on exploiting Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures soon after they are announced publicly when victims systems are not patched quickly enough, and we deal with state sponsored threats against our customers on a daily basis."
More about Cyberattack, Australia, Cybersecurity, state sponsored hackers
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