Australian corporations are increasingly being targeted by cyber attacks from unknown parties in China, and as yet there is no effective defence.
The attacks come as cyber warfare intensifies globally, and as the Australia-China relationship stabilises after a turbulent 2009, including debate about Chinese investment, the arrest of Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu and the visit of Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer. On Friday, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will deliver an address at the Australian National University on the subject of “Australia and China in the world”.
Google has become the first major corporate victim of cyber attacks to speak out on the issue, as it pulled out of China.
The New York Times revealed yesterday that cyber-intruders stole “one of Google’s crown jewels”, the Gaia password system that controls access by millions of international users to almost all of Google’s web services. Last week the Optus network in Australia came under a denial of service (DOS) attack from China for about two hours, hitting a number of clients.