Foreign spies are learning how to sabotage critical infrastructure, Australian intelligence...

Alfonso Maruccia

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Staff
Cyber warfare: The Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) is tasked with defending the country against espionage, sabotage, and terrorism. Comparable to the FBI in the US and MI5 in the UK, ASIO has recently been actively working to disrupt a significant cyber-warfare effort by foreign entities.

Australia is facing significant cyber threats from unknown parties, as foreign spies actively attempt to identify weaknesses in the country's digital infrastructure. According to Mike Burgess, the director-general of ASIO, these spies have conducted multiple scanning attempts to map Australia's networks, aiming to gather information necessary for potential future attacks on the country.

Burgess recently delivered his annual threat assessment speech, discussing the current and future security landscape of Australia. He highlighted that ASIO, originally created to counter sabotage attempts by Soviet Russia, is now adapting to emerging threats to digital infrastructures. Australia's critical networks are interconnected and interdependent, making vulnerabilities and potential access points more impactful.

Burgess revealed that ASIO is aware of a particularly active cyber warfare initiative by a specific nation-state, an unnamed country that has been actively scanning critical Australian infrastructures in recent months. These spies have targeted water, transport, and energy networks, employing highly sophisticated reconnaissance technology to test for security vulnerabilities and assess the digital locks of the networks.

The ASIO chief mentioned the significant outage suffered by the telco Optus in November 2023, stating that things could be much worse if multiple operators are targeted. These are not hypothetical incidents, Burgess said, as many foreign governments now have their own "crack cyber teams" working non-stop to explore these kinds of cyber-warfare possibilities.

Burgess said ASIO has been tracking a specific cyber threat against Australian networks, from a group of spies that the intelligence agency has named the "A-Team." Members of the A-Team infiltrate professional networks in search of interesting Australian profiles, who are then targeted to gain access to privileged or even top-secret information belonging to Canberra authorities.

The A-Team attempted to flatter, bribe, and recruit Australian politicians, academics, and other valuable targets, and their efforts were often successful, as the targets started to provide information about national security and defense priorities. ASIO officers even came into direct confrontation with the A-Team, impersonating a potential target and then revealing their true identity to the foreign spy.

Burgess ultimately emphasized that Australian organizations should be more proactive with their cybersecurity. ASIO will soon publish a new framework designed to help organizations build and maintain a robust security culture.

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China and Russia should be just cut out the global internet and trade routes. Biggest crap happening right now is nearly always originated there.
 
China and Russia should be just cut out the global internet and trade routes. Biggest crap happening right now is nearly always originated there.
That's not realistic today. We spent the last half century gutting out infrastructure so we could ship it to china and make the 1% more profit. The internet is a highly interconnected service, its not as simple as turning off a switch.
 
That's not realistic today. We spent the last half century gutting out infrastructure so we could ship it to china and make the 1% more profit. The internet is a highly interconnected service, its not as simple as turning off a switch.
It's not realistic if your focus is purely on making money. What will be the cost long term? Not everyone who smiles at you means well.
 
China and Russia should be just cut out the global internet and trade routes. Biggest crap happening right now is nearly always originated there.
Russia first. Just their "work" on figuring out how to damage undersea cables effectively is a good clue about their intentions. They, or rather Putin lives to make sure civilized world can't live in peace. Everything I read about his actions or intentions is regarding doing something evil, and though not actively yet, China is a solid help for that. China=> Iran, and then Russia gets all the things they haven't learned to make themselves to destroy and kill. I think we are finally starting to pay for shipping our factories and manufacturing in general oversees. Every item USA banned for Russia China makes for them. It might not be as good, but it keeps their regime and it keeps doing what it has always done. I wonder how bad it would be if instead of Russia it was China. Would USA and EU even have the courage and will to sanction China?
I hope it ends well or better yet great. By that I mean Russia no loner has nukes and modern weapons.
Who thought that Russia with its repeating history will be a good trade partners and civilized neighbor?
It should be a learned experience. I fear that it won't be. If Putin dies and his people show even a small intent toward making peace and even partial moves toward repaying for the damage their have done, the west would let them live like this all did not happen, trading with them, moving businesses and supplying them high end tech again.
I began to realize a lot of people here do not realize that Russia after fall of USSR never stopped being what it was. Surely, the scale of its waged wars and influence over other countries went down because they did not have money. But they never stopped making armed conflicts which USA never gave attention. There are claims they killed near 1 million people total in Chechnya within 2 wars. A million in Syria, next Ukraine.
USSR died but a crappy thing did not change a bit.
To summarize, someone must finally admit what Russia is. And that must finally change in how Russia is treated by civilized world. Let it be Iran if it has to be so. Iran was never invited in top 7 or 8 or whatever they called those leading countries because there is a good understanding it does not belong there. Russia never belonged there either.
 
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