Australia warns of increase in computer crimes, cyberattacks

Sydney, Australia, Nov 4 (EFE).- The Australian government warned Friday of an increase in computer crimes and cyberattacks in a report that also pointed the finger at hacker groups linked to states such as Russia, Iran and China.

During the Australian fiscal year from July 2021 to June 2022, there was a total of 76,000 cybercrime reports – equivalent to one every 7 minutes, and 13 percent up on the previous year, according to the Annual Cyber Threat Report published by the government’s Cyber Security Centre.

Although the most common attacks were intended to rob or defraud individuals, the report stressed that state-sponsored groups from countries such as China, Iran and Russia, have turned cyberspace into a “battleground.”

“We are currently witnessing deteriorating strategic circumstances in our region and globally, including a military build-up unseen since World War II,” said Defense Minister Richard Marles.

Marles added that “expanding cyber and grey zone capabilities are of particular concern” and that “regional dynamics in the Indo-Pacific are increasing the risk of crisis and cyber operations are likely to be used by states to challenge the sovereignty of others.”

The report also indicated that during the same period, 95 cyber incidents affected critical infrastructure, including the ransomware attack in November last year against the public company CS Energy, which was attributed to a Russian group.

Cyber security and online resilience is “a national priority” for Canberra, the defense minister said.

In recent weeks there have been attacks against Australia’s second largest telecommunications company, Optus, as well as the largest health insurer Medibank, the latter which exposed the data of 4 million customers. EFE


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