The Australian parliament, earlier today, was targeted by a major cyber hack attempt. Authorities have begun investigating the matter and are adamant that no information was leaked. However, politicians’ passwords and credentials have been reset as a precaution.
What is the Government Saying?
When experts pointed out that this attack likely originated from a foreign government, suspicion quickly rose. People began questioning whether or not it was an attempt to influence the outcome of parliamentary or political processes.
Suspicion is fair. The potential data breach comes approximately three months ahead of the federal elections. Many were quick to jump to conclusions and insisted that this could possibly be a reflection of the US Presidential Elections.
Opposition leader, Bill Shorten, was one of the first politicians to make a public statement, dubbing the incident a “wake up call” for Australians.
He went on to say,
“But what I was thinking about this morning as we see the extent of the security necessary to restore the integrity of the system is are we doing enough in this country for small and medium businesses to help protect them?
Of course the other thing which this is a wake-up call for is data. We give a lot of our data to the big international and multinational companies. It is very important to do more to protect our data.
Just because you can’t see who your enemy is because they’re on the internet doesn’t mean they’re not your enemy.”
Government officials have assured that no critical information was leaked. Further investigations are underway.
Australia’s History with Cyber Attacks
Australia isn’t new to cyber threats or attacks though. The Aussie government has braved several high-profile cyberattacks during recent times. Notable incidents include the attacks on the Australian Weather and Statistics agencies. Go back a bit further and Australian ministers saw their emails breached in 2011.
The Need for Online Protection
It’s become quite apparent that netizens need to up their game when it comes to data privacy and security. Carelessness and a laid back attitude on the web will most probably lead to:
- Loss of wealth – someone could steal all your financial information and leave you bankrupt!
- Identity theft – someone can easily take on your identity and get away with crimes, putting the blame on you!
- Data breaches – you could end up losing sensitive information, photos, files etc.
- Harassment – you could be blackmailed, fall victim to a scam or be stalked and bullied.
Here are a few tips everyone on the web should use to improve their chances and up their online security.
- Use complex passwords – not your birthday or your child’s name!
- Don’t repeat passwords! – use a unique password for all your platforms
- Be wary of public Wi-Fi – if it’s free, it’s probably prone to threats.
- Use encryption – a VPN tunnel secures all your connections with layers of encryption
- Browse responsibly – click links you know are safe. If it’s dubious, avoid it!
Always remember that it’s your job to protect your online self. Take the right measures and ensure your online security and privacy.