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Huge Cyber-Security Threat May Be Headed Down Under

Hundreds of Australian businesses and government agencies have been checking their IT systems this morning, if they didn’t already do it over the weekend, to determine what impact if any the recent global cyber-attack has had on their systems.

While there were no reports of any damage Down Under yesterday, the Australian Cybersecurity Centre warned the attack is still highly likely to impact Australian Governments, industries, and individuals.

The ACSC urged pro-active action to download back-ported security patches released by Microsoft after it was found the hackers were using vulnerability in Windows software to hit their targets.

The ACSC said it considers organisations running Windows XP, Server 2003 and other unsupported operating systems as exposed to extreme risk.

Cyber Security Minister Dan Tehan said he couldn’t put his hand on his heart and say that Australian IT systems, including those in government agencies, are 100 percent cyber secure but his department would remain vigilant.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that, even if Australia is targeted, the Government is prepared indicating there has been a frantic effort across federal departments to ensure their IT systems are hack proof.

Turnbull said that Australia’s teams of cyber-security experts are continuing to monitor the situation closely and stand ready to deal with any threat to Australia’s critical infrastructure.

Dozens of government departments and business here are believed to be still operating older Microsoft systems including Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

They include the Department of Finance, which until last year was paying Microsoft increasing fees to maintain support on older systems.

But it’s not clear if the same goes for state authorities and the hundreds of businesses estimated to be still running the outdated Microsoft operating systems.

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