Prime Minister Scott Morrison has revealed this month’s attack on the computer system of Parliament House is thought to have been orchestrated by a foreign power, and that the networks of the Liberals, Labor, and the Nationals may have been impacted.
Speaking before the House of Representatives today, Morrison elaborated on the February 8 cyber security threat which forced users of the parliamentary computer network to update their passwords.
“Now, I do not propose to go into the detail of these operational matters, but our cyber experts believe that a sophisticated state actor is responsible for this malicious activity,” Morrison said.
Speculation has mounted as to which entity was behind the security breach. Cyber security experts have pointed to either Russia or China as likely culprits, but the latter nation has strongly denied any involvement.
Morrison said the Australian cyber security centre was prepared to provide assistance to any entity thought to have been impacted by the breach, including the Australian Electoral Commission. He added there was “no evidence of any electoral interference.”
Obviously, political parties spend a great amount of effort on polling and strategy development, and a malicious foreign power could exploit a political party’s campaign plans to swing the election in another party’s favour. Just look at what happened in 2016 over in the US.
Given the fact our next federal election is within sniffing distance, it’s not an unrealistic concern. Hold tight, folks.