The increase of cyber attacks on key infrastructure in Australia, especially in the energy sector, will cause “generalized failures” in the electricity grid, Interior Minister Peter Dutton warned on Thursday, without referring to possible suspected countries responsible for these attacks.
“We see an increase in attacks targeting infrastructure and systems essential to our way of life,” Dutton told a National Security summit organized by the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
The politician also warned that these incidents could lead to “catastrophic” consequences.
However, the minister did not mention any suspicious country, although the Australian authorities are investigating several incidents of alleged foreign interference or cyberattacks against Parliament and universities, which are suspected to come from China, although the Asian giants deny it.
Dutton explained that the government asks the owners and operators of these infrastructures to share the details of their energy networks, so that in case of fear of a large-scale attack the government can declare an emergency and thus the intervention of intelligence agencies to protect these infrastructures, according to the speech quoted by the media.
“While private industry has an obligation to protect key infrastructures, some threats are too sophisticated or disruptive to be handled alone,” Dutton said.
Australia together with its partners from the intelligence alliance “Five Eyes” (Five Eyes), which is also made up of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and India, this month signed a statement urging technology companies to agree on a way for intelligence agencies to access encrypted messages. .