Federal Government Acknowledge Hack on Parliament by ‘Sophisticated State Actor’
The Australian Government’s acknowledgement yesterday that a ‘sophisticated state actor’ was to blame for a breach that came to light on the 8th February 2019. The incident led to the reset of all parliamentary staff passwords as a precautionary step. Given the impending election and ongoing questions around interference in other countries’ elections in recent years, this was really not a surprise.
It’s also not the first time this has occurred. In 2011, computers used by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and two additional senior ministers were hacked, with Chinese intelligence agencies suspected. In 2013, Chinese hackers were blamed for pilfering the blueprints of the new Australia Security Intelligence Organisation headquarters. In 2016, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull committed AUD$400m over ten years to improving Cyber Security. In 2017, Australian defence data was stolen. And in 2018, Government officials blamed Russia for an attack on routers in Australia the previous year.
So what does this mean? For those of us who are less concerned with nation state hacks, is there anything we can take out of this?
First and foremost, just because you’re not this weeks’ Prime Minister, it doesn’t mean your data isn’t of value to others. TDL are aware of several organisations in recent years who have been breached for their intellectual property with their products and designs being leveraged for manufacture elsewhere. Personally Identifiable Information is always of value and many organisations have the view of "we’re only a small <insert business here>, why would they want to hack me?" Your data is valuable, take some time to understand its value and how you’re protecting it.
Secondly, implied in the media articles was that a process was undertaken once there was visibility of an incident. All businesses great and small need to think about what happens during and after the suspicion of an attack. How do you recover and get your business back to business?
Where to from this point? Review your security posture and readiness with the free TDL Cyber Security Assessment tool. Register here for access to the security assessment and dashboard and to gain insights into your posture against the ASD Essential 8 and NIST Framework.
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