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Cybercrime jumped nearly 15% in Australia over 12 months, China main state suspect

New report shows Australia’s health sector being hit with second-highest number of attacks

Cables plugged into Cyber Test Systems device. 

Cables plugged into Cyber Test Systems device.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) on Wednesday (Sept. 15) reported a 13% jump in cybercrime in the past year.

The center said that in about 25% of incidents, critical infrastructure and services were targeted. In addition, working from home has made more people vulnerable to online attacks, with one cybercrime report emerging every eight minutes between June 30, 2020, and June 30, 2021, according to a Reuters report.

"Malicious cybercriminals are escalating their attacks on Australians," Assistant Minister of Defence Andrew Hastie said in a statement.

Hackers have swapped their focus to individuals working remotely and harnessed the fear caused by COVID-19 to manipulate vulnerable people, he said. Ransomware attacks rose by nearly 15%, with the health sector being hit with the second-highest number.

In June 2020, the country said a "sophisticated state-based cyber actor" was attacking all levels of its government, political parties, and essential service providers. Sources told Reuters that Australia sees China as the chief suspect, though Beijing denies any involvement.

In July of this year, China was accused by the U.S. and its allies, including Australia, of staging a global cyber espionage campaign. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said China’s actions posed "a major threat to our economic and national security.”

Updated : 2021-10-26 14:31 GMT+08:00