Australia rebukes Russia for cyber attacks on 400 companies


Australia has admonished Russia after confirming Russian-backed hackers were responsible for cyber attacks on hundreds of Australian companies.

Defence Minister Marise Payne said about 400 Australian companies were targeted in the 2017 attacks, but there was no "exploitation of significance".

"The points which this reinforces for us as a government, and should reinforce for all Australians, is that vigilance is absolutely imperative in terms of cyber security," Senator Payne told reporters in Adelaide on Tuesday.

Cyber Security Minister Angus Taylor said despite the significant number of organisations affected, there was no indication Australian information had been compromised.

"Commercially available routers were used as a point of entry, demonstrating that every connected device is vulnerable to malicious activity," Mr Taylor said.

"This attempt by Russia is a sharp reminder that Australian businesses and individuals are constantly targeted by malicious state and non-state actors, and we must maintain rigorous cyber security practices."

Mr Taylor, who is in the United States meeting government officials to discuss cyber security, said it was crucial Canberra worked with Washington to build defences against attacks.