Oz military networks facing huge cyber espionage threat

Saturday, October 9, 2010

CANBERRA - Australia’s top electronic spy unit has warned that the country’s military networks are under siege from soaring levels of cyber strikes by foreign intelligence agencies.

According to News.com.au, the Defence Signals Directorate figures show that the military has experienced 700 attempts a month this year, up from 200 a month last year.

Although the agency did not specify who is behind the intrusions, it has however said that a number of countries could be involved.

This is the second time that DSD has released figures on military network intrusions. The figures have been gathered by a unit within the directorate, the Cyber Security Operations Centre, comprising of the defence officers and staff from the federal police, the Attorney-General’s Department and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.

Although the agency claimed that no “operations” have been disrupted by the intrusions, it did not mention whether information has been stolen.

“The very nature of the Internet makes it difficult to attribute malicious activity to particular sources. But it is reasonable to assume that intelligence services of foreign governments would seek to exploit the ubiquity of Internet connectivity,” a spokesman said.

When the centre was opened in January, the then defence minister, John Faulkner, revealed that there had been 2400 “electronic security incidents” on Defence networks last year. In the new information, DSD has revealed 5551 incidents between January and August, a 250 percent rise, the report said.

Numerous countries have used the web for espionage, and China, Russia and North Korea particularly have the expertise in this field, it added. (ANI)

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