Rise in critical infrastructure attacks pose Australian threat


Attacks on critical infrastructure and supply chains are growing and posing a massive society-wide threat in both Australia and around the globe. NTT’s newly released June Monthly Threat Report highlights the ramifications of these types of attacks.

Earlier in May, we saw Colonial Pipeline in the US suspend its network due to an attack from ransomware group DarkSide. While the focus was largely geared towards the actual shutdown and ransomware payout, the report delves into the likely breaches that had to have previously occurred in order for the ransomware to be installed.

With attacks against critical infrastructure and operation technology assets steadily increasing in recent years, we face similar attacks closer to home.

John Karabin, Senior Director of Cybersecurity, NTT Australia says: “Last month’s DarkSide ransomware attack on the United States’ Colonial Pipeline, which led to mass chaos as millions of people tried to stockpile petrol, was a shocking example of the far-reaching impact a cyberattack can have. Closer to home, attacks on critical infrastructure and supply chains are growing and posing a massive society-wide threat to our country. This was apparent in NTT’s Global Threat Intelligence Report, which awarded Australian manufacturers a cyber maturity score of 0.76 – a decrease from its 2019 score of 1.4, and behind the industry averages for MEA (1.69) and the Americas (0.88).

“It is imperative that organisations take the necessary steps to defend against actors like DarkSide. Some of the key measures include a holistic approach to security across both IT and OT, creating a culture where security is embedded at all levels and ensuring you’re being proactive and building resilient security and IT solutions. Not only do these measures help ensure they aren’t left vulnerable, but in light of the Critical Infrastructure Bill, it’s important that all Australian organisations are taking ransomware threats seriously.”