Cyber Attacks a growing concern for Australian Elections

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As some adversaries fare increasingly targeting the election infrastructure of Western nations, Australian government officials are considering to amend some of their cyber policies to enable critical utilities to fend off cyberattacks in a better way.

Australian intelligence agencies have discovered that nations like China, Russia, and Iran along with North Korea are engaging in online interference against democratic elections and disinformation campaigns.

As there is strong evidence that the 4 countries have already interfered in disrupting or influencing the 2020 United States Presidential Elections, the Scott Morrison led country wants to secure its government, industry, and critical infrastructure including power utilities with the best infrastructure that not only is capable to neutralizing digital invasions but has the potential to launch counter-attacks in retaliation.

In related research carried out by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, over 41 elections and 7 referendums that took place across the world between Jan 2010 to Oct 2020 were influenced by state-funded cyber interference where the motive was to steal valuable information to later plant discord in the political circles of nations.

Last week, the US Intelligence, identified a hackers group dubbed Pride Boys who allegedly threatened the national voters if they did not vote in favor of Trump.

“Such kind of cyber threats prove as a salutary warning for Australia as they act as wake-up calls depicting cyber warfare”, said Tim Watts, the spokesperson for the Australian government.

What if the election infrastructure has been compromised years ahead of the elections and the cyber invasion goes undetected added Mr. Watts. So, Watts insists that every nation like Australia should start re-evaluating their cyber resilience policies before it’s too late.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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