The changing nature of cyber threats

29 Jul 2020
By Danielle Cave
The changing nature of cyber threats

Amidst a global pandemic the Australian Government was forced to face another borderless cyber threat - identified within the Government’s  Statement on Malicious Cyber Activity Against Australian Networks as a ‘sophisticated state-based cyber actor’ - targeted Australian organisations across a range of sectors, including all levels of government, industry, political organisations, education, health, essential service providers and operators of other critical infrastructure. ASPI analysts including Danielle Cave, Jocelinn Kang and Tom Uren provided their views on the government’s announcement here.

These cyber threats are not new, but they are increasing in frequency and the Australian Government has made the decision to talk more publicly about them.

Increasingly, the intersection of cyber and technology with geopolitics is shaping policymaking around the world, including how states deal with issues like cyber attacks, online disinformation, protecting critical national infrastructure to concerns over the ownership of social media companies and where they are hosting data. 

Covid-19, China’s increasingly assertive global behaviour and deteriorating US-China relations are accelerating some of these trends and challenges, with states around the world forced to position themselves on all kinds of issues from 5G and high-risk vendors to IP theft and dual-use technologies and even video-sharing app TikTok.

Will Covid-19 lead to a proliferation of surveillance and tracking technologies? Should we be planning for a bifurcation of the Internet, divided between the US and China? How should the Australian Government position itself in an environment where the security of supply chains and of emerging and critical technologies is more important than ever?

On 10 August, the Perth USAsia Centre will host Danielle Cave from ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre for an in conversation with our Board member Professor Stephen Smith, former Australia Minister of Defence to talk about how this rapidly changing landscape is impacting everything from spycraft to government cyber strategies to the future of cyberspace.



Danielle Cave
Danielle Cave
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