Author: Nyman Gibson Miralis
Keywords: ACSC, cyber criminals, intellectual property, state-sponsored cyber adversaries, cyber espionage
The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) released its 2017 threat report in October. In addition to highlighting specific threats and challenges such as ransomware, malware, social engineering and Distributed Denial of Service threats, the report also identifies some broader trends in cyber security and the threats posed to the Australian community.
Threat to Government
Government networks have been the target of cybercriminals, issue motivated groups and individuals, and state‑sponsored adversaries who continue to pose an ongoing threat to government-held information.
Foreign states continue to possess the greatest intent and capability to compromise Australian government networks.
Threat to the Australian private sector
The Australian private sector continues to be targeted by malicious activity ranging from low impact incidents such as website vandalism, through to high impact intrusions that result in the loss of valuable intellectual property.
Cyber espionage poses the most advanced threat. While it is generally associated with the theft of intellectual property, cyber espionage may also include the theft of other commercially sensitive information such as company negotiation strategies or business plans. The vast majority of reported cyber incidents affecting the Australian private sector are criminally motivated, typically for financial gain. Targeted socially-engineered spearphishing emails, sometimes combined with phone calls, are common methods used to gain access to corporate networks. Cyber criminals make use of publicly available industry information such as annual reports, shareholder updates and media releases to craft their malicious cyber activities, and have used sophisticated exploits to evade detection.
Threat to financial institutions
Cybercrime conducted by criminal and state-sponsored cyber adversaries remains a persistent threat to Australian financial institutions. Criminal groups continue to conduct malicious cyber activity such as deploying malware on a network to steal online banking credentials or conducting large, multi-stage intrusions to facilitate larger scale theft.
Threat to Australian academic institutions
Targeting of the networks of Australian universities continues to increase. Universities are an attractive target given their research across a range of fields and the intellectual property this research is likely to generate.
Nyman Gibson Miralis specialise in dealing with complex national and international cybercrime investigations. Our expertise includes dealing with malware, phishing and computer hacking offences, bootlegging and tripping, Bitcoin and crypto-currency fraud, as well as offences relating to identity theft, spreading computer viruses and DDoS attacks. If you require assistance, contact one of our expert criminal defence lawyers