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Australia joins UK is accusing Russia of ‘malicious’ cyber attacks

Article image for Australia joins UK is accusing Russia of ‘malicious’ cyber attacks

Australia is “very, very sure” Russia is responsible for malicious cyber attacks targeting political, business, media and sporting institutions worldwide.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison issued a stern warning to Russia after Australia joined Britain in linking “malicious” attacks with the Russian military’s intelligence arm.

While Australia was not significantly affected by the hacking, the attacks caused harm to civilian infrastructure and resulted in millions of dollars in economic damage across the world.

“The online environment is not the Wild West and the international laws apply,” Mr Morrison said in Sydney on Thursday.

“It is not on and as an international community, we need to send that message very, very clearly.”

He said the hacking came alongside the “outrageous” poisoning scandal, which led to the death of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal after he was infected with a nerve agent in the UK.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Russia had shown a total disregard for international agreements by embarking on a pattern of malicious cyber behaviour.

They include hacking medical records of international athletes from an anti-doping agency and attacking the US Democratic Party’s email server during the 2016 presidential election.

Deputy Secretary National Cyber Coordinator Alastair MacGibbon tells Ross Greenwood “it is a strong statement”.

“It’s important that we, as a nation, stand with our allies to call out really bad behaviour online.”

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