On June 19th, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed that several governmental organizations were the victim of a state-based cyber-attack (Al Jazeera). The cyber-attacks were not a single breach, but an aggregation of attacks on the federal, state, and territorial levels of government agencies (ABC). During a press conference, Morrison did not name a specific culprit (CNN). However, he stated that “there are not a large number of state-based actors that can engage in this type of activity” (CNN).
According to political analysts, the only nations capable of large-scale cyber-attacks are Russia, China, Israel, North Korea, and Iran (ABC). Political observers have immediately drawn their suspicion toward China, given the tensions between the two nation’s governments (CNN). In recent months, Chinese officials have imposed tariffs on Australian imports (CNN). Furthermore, the Australian government called for an investigation into the origin of COVID-19, with Morison openly critical of the Chinese government’s handling of the pandemic (CNN).