Numerous cyberattacks against the Australian government over many months in mid-2020 put industry leaders on high alert over cybercrime.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the attacks “sophisticated“, and suggested that they were delivered by state actors because of their ability to penetrate organisations across government, industry, political organisations, education, health, essential service providers and operators of other critical infrastructure. Naturally, this led many to suspect a limited number of culprits not allied with Australia, including China, Russia, Iran and North Korea.

In June 2020, Cyber Citadel held a webinar in partnership with Freight and Trade Alliance (FTA), Australia’s leading representative body for the international supply chain sector.

In it, we discussed the danger state-level cybercriminals pose to the logistics industry. New malware variants found coming out of North Korea – Taintedscribe, Copperhedge and Pebbledash – are just three examples of state-level malware variants.

We also discussed the dangers of non-state cybercriminals, highlighting the disastrous effects felt by companies like Travelex and Toll Group from ransomware attacks.

Not only vulnerable to cyberattacks, companies have also been forced to adopt new norms in the face of the global Covid-19 pandemic. Vulnerabilities in network systems being used by non-cybersecurity conscious staff working from home, coupled with cyberattacks being launched with increasing frequency and intensity, has created a perfect storm for cybercriminals to operate in. For many companies, being hit during this storm could mean bankruptcy.

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