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Australian PM Blames “Sophisticated State Actor” for Parliament Hack

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has blamed a “sophisticated state actor” for the recent attempt to hack the parliament’s computer network.

On February 8 news broke of the malicious activity which resulted in password resets for government workers.

Speaking today, PM Morrison said that there was “no evidence of electoral interference” and that steps were being taken to “ensure the integrity of our electoral system” – however he did not comment on which country was behind the attack.

“I have instructed the Australian Cyber Security Center to be ready to provide any political party or electoral body in Australia with immediate support, including making their technical experts available,” he added.

David Emm, principal security researcher, Kaspersky Lab, said: “Cyber-attacks on political parties are almost becoming commonplace – especially in the run up to elections. In an atmosphere of increased suspicion of the cyber-capabilities of different nations, the focus very often becomes intent on identifying the attacker.

“The news that all the main political parties in Australia were breached has shown that attackers will try to achieve their aims by compromising multiple routes – proving more than ever the importance of working together to ensure maximum protection from malicious actors, across geographical and political boundaries.”

High-Tech Bridge’s CEO Ilia Kolochenko added:“Powerful nation states have the requisite technology and other resources to cover up their attacks and operate in stealth mode. In light of incomplete or blurred visibility across many governmental IT systems, networks where virtually no single machine is up-to-date, alongside shadow and legacy applications, and a global cybersecurity skills shortage – it is unfortunately not that complicated for cyber-criminals to remain unnoticed.”

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