What major threats should Australians be concerned about as a part of the current COVID-19 pandemic? According to the country’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, Aussies should be on high alert against the coronavirus and the threat of cyberattacks. According to recent data from the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), in June 2020, the country was targeted by a “sophisticated, state-based cyber actor.” Senior sources also confirmed, though did not publicly state, that the attack originated from China. Read on to learn more about the latest threats to cyber security gov.

164 Cybercrime Reports are made by Aussies Every Day

The ASCS has noted that an average of 164 reports is made by Australian households and businesses every day, especially regarding threats to cyber security gov. These cyber attacks

could threaten the stability of the country’s financial system and government institutions.

The ACSC has publicly stated that between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020, it has responded to a

whopping 2,266 cyber security incidents and has received 59,806 cybercrime reports. The most common cybercrimes reported included fraud. These crimes vary from investment fraud to shopping fraud to romance scams.

Identity-related crimes, which incorporate theft, and the misuse of personal information were the second most common cybercrimes, followed by cyber abuse. Phishing scams are also still common. However, the ACSC stresses that while fraud was the most common cybercrime category, ransomware is considered the highest threat. Cybercriminals are increasingly utilizing ransomware to lock up a user’s computer system. Then, they demand ransom in return for its release.

Economic Costs of Cyber Crimes

The country’s cyber security gov experts also agree that it’s not just individuals being targeted by ransomware and other cyberattacks. Private corporations, businesses, and local governments are also being targeted. The ACSC estimates that cyber-related crimes and attacks could cost the country $29 billion a year, or 1.9% of the country’s GDP.

About one in three adult Australians use the Internet for six hours a day or more. However, only one in four people considered themselves to have an expert or good understanding of cybersecurity. Many have failed to take the most basic steps to enhance their online security.

COVID-19 Further Raises the Country’s Cyber Threats

Since the June 2020 state-sponsored cyberattack, the ACSC and other cyber security gov experts

have asserted that there have been more foreign government cyberattacks in Australia. These

are literally and figuratively “blurring the lines between peace and war.”

The experts say that there are opportunistic cybercriminals at one end of the spectrum who target the Australian government and companies for financial gain. At the other end, coordinated and sophisticated state-based actors from foreign governments seek to interfere with the country’s affairs.

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to rage on, cyber security gov experts and officials stress that the ACSC is now operating at elevated levels of the Cyber Incident Managements Arrangements. This level of response is intended to respond to the ever-increasing cyberthreats from within and overseas fully.

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