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What’s happened?

The Australian Government is currently aware of, and responding to, a sustained targeting of Australian governments and companies by a sophisticated state-based actor.
A range of tactics, techniques and procedures are being used to target multiple Australian networks. It’s important that Australian companies are alert to this threat and take steps to enhance the resilience of their networks. Cyber security is everyone’s responsibility.

What IT managers can do

The advice includes the following mitigation strategies to help reduce the risk of compromise to your systems:
1. Prompt patching of internet-facing software, operating systems and devices
All exploits utilised by the actor in the course of this campaign were publicly known and had patches or mitigations available. Organisations should ensure that security patches or mitigations are applied to internet-facing infrastructure within 48 hours. Additionally organisations, where possible, should use the latest versions of software and operating systems.
2. Use of multi-factor authentication across all remote access services
Multi-factor authentication should be applied to all internet-accessible remote access services, including:
– web and cloud-based email
– collaboration platforms
– virtual private network connections
– remote desktop services.

The ACSC has produced the following technical advice for Information Technology managers: Advisory 2020-008: Copy-paste compromises – tactics, techniques and procedures used to target multiple Australian networks-tactics-techniques-and-procedures-used-target-multiple-australian-networks.

For more information, go to https://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/alert-service/australian-governments-and-companies-targeted-sophisticated-state-based-actor