BLUF

Mike Pezzullo, a senior public servant, has warned that Australia’s critical infrastructure is under ‘immediate’ threat from cyberattacks.

Summary

Home Affairs Department secretary Mike Pezzullo (most recently in the headlines for his 'drums of war' comment) has warned that Australia's critical infrastructure is under 'immediate' threat of a cyber-attack that could take down the nation's electricity network. He said the threat was both 'realistic' and 'credible'. Mr Pezzullo believes the threat posed by sophisticated criminals and hackers acting for other nations is very real. He recently told a Senate estimates committee
'Of all the things that keep me awake at night…that is the most pressing, immediate concern' see Australia one of the most-hacked countries
In response to increased cyber-attacks, the Federal Government has proposed new legislation aimed at better protecting assets in critical sectors. The new laws would impose greater cyber-security obligations on operators responsible for the infrastructure in those sectors. Mr Pezzullo was reported as saying:
'without the additional measures, which are currently being considered by parliament's powerful Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, Australia faced a "perilous" road...'