State-backed groups hacking critical infrastructure – Australia 

A government report in Australia revealed that state-sponsored cyber groups and hackers have intensified their attacks on the country’s critical infrastructure, businesses, and homes. The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) reported over 94,000 cybercrime incidents in the financial year to June, marking a 23% increase from the previous period. The report highlighted a growing interest from state actors in Australia’s critical infrastructure, including sectors like telecommunications, energy, and transportation.

Australia has experienced a surge in cyber intrusions, prompting the establishment of an agency in February to coordinate responses to hacks. The government recently disclosed details of proposed cyber laws that would mandate companies to report all ransomware incidents.

Defence Minister Richard Marles acknowledged the complex relationship with China, Australia’s largest trading partner, and noted that the country had never pretended the relationship would be easy. The ACSC report pointed to techniques used by a state-sponsored Chinese hacking group that could pose threats to Australia’s critical infrastructure.

The report comes after a recent cyber incident at DP World Australia, one of the country’s major ports operators, leading to a three-day suspension of operations. Cybersecurity experts warn that cyber attacks against Australia will continue to rise unless organisations prioritise security and risk management for their information assets.

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