A mass cyber attack is due to be launched on the critical infrastructure of Australia, as most of the critical networks across the nation have sleeper cyber malware installed on them and can be triggered at any point of time.
“Power grids, water utilities, transit stations and airports are all being targeted by adversaries as Australia is the softest target among the Five Eyes Alliance nations”, says Fergus Hanson, Director of the International Cyber policy Center at the Australian Strategy Policy Institute.
Mr. Hanson added that the nation has five biggest adversaries- Russian, Iran, North Korea and China and the threat can emerge from any nation in all spheres. And Hanson believes that the present infrastructure is not in a position to detect highly sophisticated cyber attacks on an automated note.
“Backdoor Malware on government infrastructure can turn devastating as it can snoop into political and corporate data causing threat to the national integrity” said Fergus.
Note 1– In June this year, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison issued a public statement saying that all hospitals and state owned utilities were constantly been targeted by cyber attacks. Although Mr. Morrison did not blame China on a direct note, he believed that a state based actor from Asia was causing disruptions by hitting its systems and networks across the country.
Note 2- Sleeper cyber weapons can stay silent for many years before they are used to zero-day attacks and for this reason, US President Donald Trump banned Huawei from installing its equipment in the 5G network upgrade across the United States, as he believed that the Chinese telecom giant was engaging in surveillance activity through its equipment.