World Media

China suspected of Cyber attack on Australian Parliament

China suspected of Cyber attack on Australian Parliament

Citing unnamed sources, The Sydney Morning Herald, however, suggests a foreign government may have tried to hack Oz's parliamentary systems.

"There is no evidence that any data has been accessed or taken at this time, however this will remain subject to an ongoing investigation".

"Following a security incident on the parliamentary computing network, a number of measures have been implemented to protect the network and its users", Tony Smith, speaker of the lower House of Representatives, and Scott Ryan, president of the upper house, the Senate, said in a joint statement issued on Friday.

Authorities in Australia say they are investigating an attempt to hack into its parliament's computer network.

Computer passwords have been reset.

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. "There might be interesting information about parliamentary perks that are given to politicians that the public may not like".

The head of the Australian Cyber Security Center, Alastair MacGibbon, declined to speculate about the identity of the attacker.

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Australian PM Scott Morrison said he didn't intend to comment in depth on "the source or nature of this".

"To undertake such an attack, you need some big resources, so a state actor is most likely", said James Der Derian, director of the Centre for International Security Studies at the University of Sydney. Notably, Australia has banned China's Huawei and ZTE, and fell out with Moscow over the investigation into Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which was shot down by a Russian anti-aircraft missile in July 2014.

China was responsible for previous hacks on Australian government systems, including a similar breach of the Federal Parliament's computer network in 2011.

Australia's key intelligence agency ASIO has previously warned it expects a rise in the "sophistication and complexity" of cyber attacks by countries pursuing cyber espionage programs. In response, IT teams disabled remote access to the accounts.

"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.

But he refused to offer details on the breaches at Parliament House.