ACU responds to Australian cyber security attacks

You might have recently seen the Prime Minister's announcement that Australia has been the target of a series of cyber security attacks. These attacks are widespread, ongoing, and orchestrated by many different groups of people. This means they’re not the result of a ‘state-based attack’, as was originally reported.

A range of industries and sectors have experienced these attacks, including one on an undisclosed Australian university. ACU’s cyber security experts have been investigating – and here’s what we know.

What happened?

The attackers used code that’s readily available on the internet to take advantage of known weaknesses in the university’s IT environment. This type of attack is called a ‘copy-paste’ attack since the attackers used preexisting code.

The issue was resolved swiftly, and the university involved has since taken additional steps to secure its systems.

How is ACU responding?

The Australian Cyber Security Centre has provided a set of recommendations to protect against copy-paste attacks.

Prompt patching

This means releasing security fixes as soon as they’re available. ACU has a patching procedure in place to pass on these fixes as soon as possible. 

Using Multi-Factor Authentication

This is when systems require an extra piece of ID (eg a prompt from your phone) before you can log in.

As you may have heard, ACU has already begun the staged rollout of MFA for all ACU staff. This means you’ll soon be invited to enrol your device in MFA and will need to use it to log into selected systems.

Read more about ACU's increased cyber security

What can you do to help?

We all want to keep ACU safe. This means cyber security is everyone’s responsibility.

Here are easy ways you can do your part:

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