Peter Dutton addresses cyber security risk

6 September 2019

Written by: Muhammad Asad Roohani

Dutton warns cyber security­ has never been more important to national security.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has released a consultation paper to tackle the emerging cyber security risks in the country.

Several harmful activities on the internet, including­ the “hack and release” of sensitive information which is aimed to humiliate victims, was addressed in the paper.

Today, Dutton warned that Australia’s major sectors are under threat. According to Dutton, energy, telecommunications and transport are the sectors most vulnerable to these cyber-attacks.

The government fears self-driving cars are also likely to be under the threats of cyber-attacks.

“State actors are growing more organised, confident, and sophisticated in using cyber espionage and interference to promote their national interests,” Dutton wrote in the paper.

The paper addressed Australia’s critical systems which are all becoming increasingly digitised. They include the energy, telecommunication and the transport sector.

“Criminal hackers also have access­ to cheap and widely available tools, helping them to steal personal information that can be used to commit financial fraud and other serious crimes,” it said in the paper.

The consultation paper revealed hacking had affected one in three Australians in 2018 with an estimated $2.3 billion stolen.

It stated that the hacking of a vital facility such as electricity, water or transport has the potential to cripple the economy and cause social unrest.

Dutton expects businesses and ruling authorities to confront the issue.

“As quickly as we advance, threats evolve and those who wish to do us harm adapt and change,” Dutton wrote in the paper.

“Strong collaboration and partnerships are vital to ensure this strategy is well positioned to tackle the cyber security challenges we face as a nation.”

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Photo: Peter Dutton By Commonwealth of Australia available HERE and used under a Creative Commons Attribution. The image has not been modified.

Muhammad Asad Roohani is a first year Master of Journalism Innovation student at La Trobe University. You can follow him on Twitter @asaadroohani