Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Australia Knows China Hacked Its Parliament: Report

Australia is confident that China was behind cyberattacks on its parliament and political parties, but decided not to make public accusations to avoid disrupting trade relations, according to Reuters.

Australia is confident that China was behind cyberattacks on its parliament and political parties, but decided not to make public accusations to avoid disrupting trade relations, according to Reuters.

Reuters learned from five sources that the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), the country’s intelligence agency, determined in March — based on the code and techniques used by the attackers — that a cyber-espionage group sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of State Security was responsible for the attacks.

China was named a suspect immediately after Australia revealed in February that parliament and three major political parties had been targeted by hackers likely sponsored by a nation state, but at the time some experts also mentioned Russia and Iran.

Unsurprisingly, China, which is Australia’s biggest trading partner, has denied any involvement and pointed out that it, too, is often a target of cyberattacks — China often makes this statement when it’s accused of hacker attacks.

Australia reportedly decided not to officially accuse China over fears that it would have a negative impact on its economy.

When they disclosed the hack, Australian officials said everyone in parliament had been forced to change their password and take other security measures, but claimed there was no evidence of access to data.

However, Reuters learned from its sources that the attackers did access policy papers and private emails after breaching the systems of the country’s Liberal, National and Labor parties.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Australia previously blamed North Korea for the WannaCry attack and Russia for the Bad Rabbit attack, but it did so alongside allies such as the U.S., the U.K. and Canada.

Related: Australia Tries to Curb Foreign Interference at Universities

Related: Australia’s Early Warning Network Hacked

Related: Top Australian University Reports Vast, ‘Sophisticated’ Hack

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

SecurityWeek’s Threat Detection and Incident Response Summit brings together security practitioners from around the world to share war stories on breaches, APT attacks and threat intelligence.


Securityweek’s CISO Forum will address issues and challenges that are top of mind for today’s security leaders and what the future looks like as chief defenders of the enterprise.


Expert Insights

Related Content

Application Security

Cycode, a startup that provides solutions for protecting software source code, emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday with $4.6 million in seed funding.


WASHINGTON - Cyberattacks are the most serious threat facing the United States, even more so than terrorism, according to American defense experts. Almost half...


The changing nature of what we still generally call ransomware will continue through 2023, driven by three primary conditions.


A recently disclosed vBulletin vulnerability, which had a zero-day status for roughly two days last week, was exploited in a hacker attack targeting the...

CISO Strategy

SecurityWeek spoke with more than 300 cybersecurity experts to see what is bubbling beneath the surface, and examine how those evolving threats will present...

Management & Strategy

SecurityWeek examines how a layoff-induced influx of experienced professionals into the job seeker market is affecting or might affect, the skills gap and recruitment...

Data Breaches

LastPass DevOp engineer's home computer hacked and implanted with keylogging malware as part of a sustained cyberattack that exfiltrated corporate data from the cloud...

CISO Conversations

In this issue of CISO Conversations we talk to two CISOs about solving the CISO/CIO conflict by combining the roles under one person.