Australian political parties hit by ‘state actor’ hack, PM says


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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the country’s major political parties have been hit by a hack on their computer networks.

The activity was carried out by a “sophisticated state actor”, Mr Morrison said.

It was discovered following an investigation into a hacking attempt on Australia’s parliament two weeks ago.

There was “no evidence of any electoral interference”, he said. The nation is due to hold an election within months.

“During the course of this work, we also became aware that the networks of some political parties – Liberal, Labor and Nationals – have also been affected,” Mr Morrison told the parliament on Monday.

Two weeks ago, Mr Morrison said there was “no suggestion” that government agencies or departments had been targeted.

There was also no evidence that information from the parliament’s computer network had been accessed or stolen, he said. Politicians’ passwords had been reset as a precaution.

On Monday, Mr Morrison said: “We have put in place a number of measures to ensure the integrity of our electoral system.”

Labor leader Bill Shorten said the cyber-attack was “of grave concern” following instances of “malicious activity” in other nations.

“We cannot be complacent and, as this most recent activity reported by the prime minister indicates, we are not exempt or immune,” Mr Shorten said.

The Australian government has faced a number of cyber-attacks in recent years, some of which have been attributed in local media to nations such as China.

In 2015 and 2016, there were high-profile attacks on the government’s weather and statistics agencies. In 2011, senior Australian ministers also had their email systems breached.


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