Security breach strikes parliament's IT network - Security

Hack Attack Breaches Australian Parliament Network

Hack Attack Breaches Australian Parliament Network

There is no evidence that any data has been accessed but the investigation remains ongoing, Speaker Tony Smith and Senate President Scott Ryan said in a joint statement today.

"We have no evidence that this is an attempt to influence the outcome of parliamentary processes or to disrupt or influence electoral or political processes", it said. And in 2018, government officials blamed Russian Federation for an attack on routers in Australia the previous year.

"The Department of Parliamentary Services and relevant agencies are working jointly to take the necessary steps to investigate the incident, while our immediate focus has been on security of the network and protecting data and users".

In one of Australia's most high-profile cyber attacks, all lawmakers were told to reset passwords as a precaution.

The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) confirmed it was working with parliament in response to the breach, a move that indicates that sophisticated actors may be involved.

"If you look at what goes on in Parliament House, you've got politicians, you've got staffers, you've got government departments that are moving in and out of the organisation and a lot of that is through electronic means", adjunct professor Nigel Phair, from the University of Canberra, said.

"If I was a nation state, or dare I say any hacker looking for state secrets, this is the crown jewels".

Media this week said Australia rescinded the visa of a prominent Chinese businessman just a few months after barring Chinese telecoms giant Huawei Technologies from supplying equipment to its 5G broadband network. "Proper and accurate attribution of a cyber incident takes time".

The attack does not affect the computer systems of government ministers and their staff, however it does affect government backbenchers, the Opposition and crossbenchers.

Parliament's presiding officers said DPS had made "substantial strides" in strengthening cyber defence of IT network at the house in since 2012.

Mr Shorten described the breach as a "wake up call", saying while Parliament had the resources to respond to a cyber attack, many small and medium-sized businesses did not.

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