Australian intelligence has come to the conclusion that the PRC Ministry of State Security is responsible for a cyber attack on the internal networks of parliament and political parties, which occurred in March this year ahead of the May general election. This was reported on Monday.
According to them, such a conclusion was made by the cyber security intelligence department shortly after the hacking, however, according to two interlocutors, the Australian government is not going to publish the results of the investigation, fearing deterioration in relations with China. Scott Morrison, a spokesman for Prime Minister’s administration, declined to answer agency questions about the findings of the report.
Reuters notes that recently, Australia has been actively strengthening trade ties with China, since China is the main importer of Australian iron ore, coal, and agricultural products. Exports to China account for one third of Australia’s total exports. As one of the agency’s sources emphasized, if Canberra makes public accusations against Beijing, there will be a “real prospect of harming the economy.”
In February, Australian intelligence revealed the hacking of the network of the Australian parliament, as well as corporate networks of the Liberal, Labor and Democratic parties. Then Morrison said that a foreign state could be behind a cyber attack, but did not specify which one. As a result of cyber attacks, hackers gained access to documents related to taxation and international relations, as well as to private correspondence of members of the government.