The Australian government has disclosed that it was the victim of a cyber attack and said the government suspects a state actor, according to a report.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the computer network of the parliament in the country and those computers that belong to the Liberal, Labor and National parties were also targeted in the attack that went down a few weeks ago, according to a report in TechCrunch. Federal elections in the country are slated to take place in May.
The news outlet reported that Prime Minister Morrison said there isn’t any evidence that there was any electoral interference. “We have put in place a number of measures to ensure the integrity of our electoral system,” he said, adding that security services “acted decisively to confront it.” While it’s not clear what data the bad guys got off with, the report noted that the level of sophistication with the attack has not been seen in the past. The report noted that the attack has the markings of China but it could also be designed to shift the blame to make it look like a Chinese hack.
This isn’t the first time the parliament network in Australia has been hacked. Back in 2015, Australia’s government was infiltrated by a foreign government which turned out to be China, getting in through the Bureau of Meteorology’s computers. China reportedly got access to records on more than 14 million federal employees in Australia.
The latest incident months ahead of the election in Australia is also reminiscent of the hack of the Democratic National Party’s computers in the run-up to the U.S. election in 2016. The hacker released damaging emails that some blame for the loss of the election by Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump. That incident involved 19,252 emails and 8,034 attachments from DNC email accounts. It was widely linked to the Russian government.