Australian Prime Minister followed the United States and United Kingdom’s governments by placing new sanctions on Russian banks, and businesses, and warned Aussie companies to boost their cyber defenses against potential cyber-attacks.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday that the government has already reached out to most entities, and the local governments and other businesses should read guidance issued by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSA).
Sanctions are introduced in wake of Putin’s military advancements into Lugansk and Donetsk. The Australian government has put financial sanctions and levied travel bans.
Morrison said that they have already personally reached out to many companies in Australia, “alerting them to take the risk of potential counter-responses by Russia and other actors in response to these decisions,”
“There is no evidence that any such attacks have taken place to date, I’m advised, but we are now publicly saying right across the country to go to [cyber.gov.au] so you can be clearly informed of the steps that you should be taking to ensure that you are protected as best as you can be from any cyber attacks,” said Morrison.
Morrison further added that for Russian retaliation, cyber is the most apparent path, considering past incidents. That is why companies could be targeted as well in response to the recent sanctions on Russia.
ASCS has warned organizations to review their threat detection, mitigation, and response systems as cyberattacks can be caused due to miscalculations.
“Organizations should ensure that logging and detection systems in their environment are fully updated and functioning and apply additional monitoring of their networks where required…Organizations should also assess their preparedness to respond to any cyber security incidents, and should review incident response and business continuity plans.” – ASCS guidance.
Similar warnings have been issued by the UK and USA. National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) urged British companies to boost cyber defenses against cyberattacks. They stated that “over several years, we have observed a pattern of malicious Russian behavior in cyberspace.”
Last month, the Department of Homeland Security in the US issued a warning for American companies to prepare for potential cyber-attacks. The warning was made in case of potential US or NATO involvement in the Ukraine crisis.
The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (CCCS) has been warning administrators since last month to isolate critical infrastructure if it could make an attractive target.
Russian President Putin has recognized two breakaway states in Ukraine as the forces have entered the cities on a so-called “peacekeeping” mission.
The move has triggered responses from Western democracies. The US has also imposed sanctions on Russian banks so they can no longer trade in Western markets. Tokyo has also issued a ban on visas to visitors with “two-republics” and has frozen their assets. A ban on the trading of Russian bonds in Japan has been levied.
According to these governments, the sanctions will increase if Russia does not stop its advances into Ukraine. Russian hackers were also behind a massive cyberattack on Ukrainian Defence Ministry and several banks.