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Getting hacked is the new normal, from a plain statement of probability it has slowly but steadily turned out to be a truism. Defence is the final forte of any nation. Not that it never been hacked earlier, but its likelihood can send down a chill down the spine of the nation. That can be transform the nature of war, if this is successfully attempted and made actionable in the scenario we are dealing with. The latest news is from this sector, that the Ransomware hackers have hit the Australian defence communication platform. It was been officially been made known that the ForceNet service one of external providers which defence department contracts to its websites has come under attack.

The Asst. Minister of Defence went on to add, that so far no data has been compromised in the hack incident. Access with no loss of data is certainly a scenario that needs to investigated in depth, as in reality opens a digital Pandora’s Box. The communications platform used military personnel and defence staff was hit by a ransomware attack, while the country already battles with a recent spike of cyber-attacks across business. They have also clarified that this has been an attack on defence (technology systems) and entities.

Taking the battle to a trusted outsourced business entity, is like bringing the battle a bit to close. What distances can be traversed in the battle and what pace, still remains something in the realm of digital imagination. One day a hacker makes it happen and we keep gaping, with nothing to react when it happens. Australian Broadcasting Corporation has reported some generic private information has been stolen. The department has already got into the process of examining the impacted data. We are all aware as to how ransomware software works, if you really get trapped in that, it becomes a whirlpool in which no government would like to get trapped, more so if it is the defence establishment.

Ironically, some of Australia’s biggest companies have been hacked. It includes Optus, the number 2 telco company, owned by Singapore Telecommunications. The country’s biggest health insurer, Medibank, has also been hacked. These hacks have in all likelihood have exposed the details of millions of customers. Australia It seems is slowly slipping into a digital morass. Technology experts are of the opinion that the country has become the target of cyber-attacks because skills shortage has left an understaffed and overworked cybersecurity workforce, ill-equipped to either prevent it or battle it out.

Sanjay Sahay

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