Australia has slammed Russia for “malicious” cyber attacks targeting political, business, media and sporting institutions worldwide.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Foreign Minister Marise Payne said while Australia was not significantly impacted, the hacking caused harm to civilian infrastructure and resulted in millions of dollars in economic damage across the world.
Mr Morrison and Senator Payne called on Russia to stop its malicious activities, saying the attacks were unacceptable.
“Cyberspace is not the Wild West. The international community – including Russia – has agreed that international law and norms of responsible state behaviour apply in cyberspace,” they said in a joint statement.
“By embarking on a pattern of malicious cyber behaviour, Russia has shown a total disregard for the agreements it helped to negotiate.”
Australia has joined the UK in linking four attacks with the Russian military’s intelligence arm, the GRU.
They include hacking medical records of international athletes from world sport’s anti-doping agency and attacking the US Democratic Party’s email server during the 2016 presidential election.
Russia has also been officially blamed for hacking multiple email accounts belonging to a small UK-based TV station, which had accounts accessed and content stolen.
Australia also condemns attacks on Russian and Ukrainian energy and transport in October 2017.
Australia’s Ambassador for Cyber Affairs Tobias Feakin said critical infrastructure of neighbouring countries should be completely out of bounds during peace time.
“We’re very, very sure that it is them who have conducted this array of activity in the international arena. So we feel that the evidence base is firm,” he told Sky News.