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Australian parliament hack attack

Paul Brislen, Editor. 11 February 2019, 11:30 am

Australian politicians are being forced to change their passwords following an attempt to hack the Australian federal parliament's IT system.

The attack, which has been said not to have succeeded, is thought to have come from a foreign state, rather than from an individual or organisation.

In the Sydney Morning Herald, Alastair MacGibbon, head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre, said the government's cyber experts "would work over coming days and weeks to make sure all the breaches had been detected and the hackers' presence removed" but gave no further details. Australia's current prime minister Scott Morrison says he won't be commenting on "the source or nature of this" in any detail.

The attack comes just three months out from the next Australian election but isn't the first time such attacks have taken place.

In 2015 and 2016 there were several attacks on the weather and statistics agencies, and in 2011 some Australian ministers had their email services compromised in an attack.

Meanwhile the Australian government is pressing ahead with its so-called encryption busting legislation, despite warnings that the government doesn't understand what it is doing and the impact it will have on privacy and security.

Despite some high profile opposition to the legislation, which requires service providers to enable government access to secured messages and communications on request, the Australian government is proceeding with its introduction, and the Department of Home Affairs says the law is already being used by police and national security agencies.


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