The Australian Cyber Security Centre received one cybercrime report every 10 minutes over the last 12 months, its annual cyber threat report reveals.
Incidents reported by Commonwealth, state and territory governments accounted for more than a third of all incidents (35.4 per cent).
The nation’s critical infrastructure sectors including electricity, water, health, communications and education represented around 35 per cent of the incidents responded to by the ACSC.
However the ACSC says the comparatively higher volume of reports from Commonwealth, State and Territory governments is because of their close working relationship with the ACSC and their willingness to report incidents.
Malicious activity increasing
Malicious cyber activity against Australia’s national and economic interests is increasing in frequency, scale, and sophistication, the report says.
The report outlines key cyber threats and statistics between July 1 and June 30.
It says ransomware is one of the most significant threats because of its potential to damage government operations.
This can occur when cybercriminals obtain user logins and credentials and then use remote desktop protocol services to launch ransomware on their targets.
“While our cyber adversaries are becoming more adept, the likelihood and severity of cyber-attacks is also increasing due to our growing dependence on new information technology platforms and interconnected devices and systems,” the ACSC says.
The report shows that over the last year, the ACSC responded to 2,266 cyber security incidents and received 59,806 cybercrime reports, at an average of 164 cybercrime reports per day, or one report every 10 minutes.
Between March 10 and 26 it received more than 45 pandemic themed cybercrime and cyber security incident reports.
Of the 2,266 incidents reported, 828 were assessed as being Category 5 (Moderate Incident) with 754 assessed as Category 4 (substantial Incident).
A category 1 incident, the most severe, was announced on June 19 by the Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who said it involved the sustained targeting of Australian governments and companies by a sophisticated state-based actor.
On 30 June 2020, the Government announced a $1.35 billion Cyber Enhanced Situational Awareness and Response (CESAR) package to boost protection and cyber resilience for all Australians.
Under the Government’s CESAR package, the ACSC will continue working with AFP and ACIC to enhance capabilities to prevent and disrupt cybercrime targeting Australia.
CESAR will also provide funding towards enhancing ReportCyber, improving the detection of widespread cybercrime campaigns and enabling the effective sharing of threat intelligence and cyber security advice to all Australians.
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