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Australia cyber attacks: PM Morrison warns of ‘sophisticated’ state hack

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Australia’s government and institutions are being targeted by ongoing sophisticated state-based cyber hacks, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says.

Mr Morrison said the cyber attacks were widespread, covering “all levels of government” as well as essential services and businesses.

He declined to identify a specific state actor and said no major personal data breaches had been made.

The attacks have happened over many months and are increasing, he said.

The prime minister said his announcement on Friday was intended to raise public awareness and to urge businesses to improve their defences.

But he stressed that “malicious” activity was also being seen globally, making it not unique to Australia.

Mr Morrison did not name specific cases but said it had spanned “government, industry, political organisations, education, health, essential service providers and operators of other critical infrastructure”.

He did not give further details. Previously, defence manufacturers, government contractors and accounting firms have been among those to report data breaches

Speaking on Friday, Mr Morrison said officials had identified it as a state hack “because of the scale and nature of the targeting and the trade craft used”.

“There are not a large number of state-based actors that can engage in this type of activity,” he said, without giving specifics.

When asked to identify a country, Mr Morrison said he would not make “any public attribution”. -BBC

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