‘Significant threat’: cyber attacks increasingly targeting Australia’s critical infrastructure

A quarter of cyber incidents reported to Australian security officials over the past year have targeted critical infrastructure and essential services, including health care, food distribution and energy.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) will disclose the incidents in a report to be published on Wednesday, warning of “significant targeting, both domestically and globally, of essential services”.

These incidents have “underscored the vulnerability of critical infrastructure to significant disruption in essential services, lost revenue and the potential of harm or loss of life”.

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The report will also show ransomware attacks disclosed to the ACSC increased 15% in the 2020-21 financial year, when compared with the previous financial year.

The ACSC – which is part of the Australian Signals Directorate – received more than 67,500 reports of cybercrime of all types in 2020-21, or one every eight minutes.

That compared with one every 10 minutes the previous year.

The report says businesses, individuals and other entities had incurred more than $33bn in total losses from cyber crime throughout the year.

Cybercriminals sought to exploit the pandemic by encouraging recipients to enter personal credentials to access Covid-related information or services, while unnamed foreign governments targeted the health sector seeking “access to intellectual property or sensitive information about Australia’s response to Covid”.

Source: The Guardian

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