Australia's prime minister confirms Australian Bureau of Meteorology attack

Both the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the Department of Parliamentary Services have suffered significant cyber intrusions, the country's prime minister said.
Both the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the Department of Parliamentary Services have suffered significant cyber intrusions, the country's prime minister said.

Although China last year vehemently denied a cyberattack on the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and government officials maintained a stony silence, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed that the bureau was indeed a target of attack.

In a departure from the tight-lipped posture usually assumed in the wake of a cyber attack, Turnbull verified that the bureau “suffered a significant cyber intrusion which was first discovered early last year,” according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), which reported the attack in December.

Turnbull said the Department of Parliamentary Services was the target of a similar attack in the last few years. Both organizations worked with the Australian Cyber Security Centre to fix the vulnerabilities.

While revealing a $230 million Cyber Security Strategy, the prime minister also acknowledged that Australian government is capable of launching cyberattacks, although under “stringent legal oversight.”

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