Reports of Federal Parliamentary servers being compromised by a cyber attack originating from “sophisticated state actor” earlier this month have been confirmed by PM Scott Morrison in Parliament today.
In the firing line were the servers of the Liberal, Labor and National parties, all of which were compromised by a hostile attack earlier this month, as reported by the ABC.
“Our cyber experts believe that a sophisticated state actor is responsible for this malicious activity.” Prime minister Scott Morrison said in Parliament. “There is no evidence of electoral interference. We have put in a number of measures to ensure the integrity of our electoral system.”
Politicians, aides and staff all lost access to their email accounts as the relevant security agencies reset passwords and security certificates in the frantic cleanup after the breach was detected. “Ministers and their offices were not affected in the suspected hack because they operate on different computer servers,” according the ABC.
“I have instructed the Australian cyber security centre to be ready to provide any political party or electoral body in Australia with immediate support, including making their technical experts available.”
“They have already briefed the electoral commissions, and those responsible for cyber security for all states and territories.”
The Prime Minister’s comments confirm an earlier ABC report that there was a “cyber breach of the Federal Parliament’s computer network that the ABC understands is likely the result of a foreign government attack.”
A spokesperson for the Liberal Party has said it was “working closely with security agencies on this matter.”
Opposition leader Bill Shorten added that “the integrity of our democracy and trust in our political institutions is fundamental to our national security, and I agree with the prime minister that whatever the rhetorical, political or indeed substantial differences between government and opposition on any given day, whatever disagreements and disputes may consume the parliament in the coming hours, when it comes to national security we all have a joint obligation.”
“Keeping Australians safe isn’t a political slogan, it’s the highest priority of every political party and member of this place. So obviously attempted hacking of the parliament house network is of grave concern to us all.”
He concluded with the statement that: “Australia is not exempt or immune from the kind of malicious activity that we’ve seen elsewhere. Over the past years we’ve witnessed a range of attempted infiltrations and manipulations in the democratic processes of Germany, Japan, the Ukraine, the U.K., the United States, France and Canada.”