The issue recently exploded into the headlines when Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the United States and United Kingdom named China as the architect behind the biggest data theft in history following the indictment in the US of two Chinese nationals for cybercrime.
It’s alleged they were part of an elite state-sponsored hacking group known as APT10, which since 2014 had targeted business working in dozens of sensitive industries such as aviation, manufacturing, oil and gas exploration, information technology and defence contracting.
The attacks targeted large-scale managed service providers and had the potential to undermine global economic growth, national security and international stability, Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said in a joint announcement. China denied the claims.
These latest attacks are part of a much larger problem.
Here in Australia the government has established the Australian Cyber Security Centre in Canberra to combat the threat, combining the resources of the Federal Police, Defence Intelligence Organisation, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the Department of Home Affairs.
“Billions of cyber events orchestrated by criminal, and nation state attackers are aiming at the very heart of the Australian Government, business and our public life,” former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull revealed in his address at the Centre’s opening in August last year.