ACMA: 215 million threats lurk on Australian networks

The Australian communications watchdog’s cyber security monitoring initiative has detected 215 million instances of malware and potentially vulnerable services during its first year of operation.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) established the Australian Internet Security Initiative (AISI) in November 2014 to provide around 140 ISPs with continuous updates on cyber threats.

Its membership covering 95 per cent of all residential internet services and the ACMA has released findings on its first year of operation in its annual report today.

The ACMA also reported that it detected an average of 26,645 instances of malware per day. Overall it reported 1.394 million unique Australian IP addresses suspected of carrying internet security threats. That represented an average of 106,000 day since the IP monitoring component of AISI was launched in March.

The ACMA also released its latest data on phishing attacks reporting a monthly average 3,267 notices during 2014-15.

Ominously, the ACMA released its findings at the same time as a report by security vendor Trend Micro predicting an increasing in online extortion and hacktivism.

Trend Micro said that hackers were becoming more adept at mastering the psychology behind their attacks and would increasingly use fear to manipulate their targets.

Among the attacks it predicted were likely to increase were Police Trojans that threaten users with criminal charges and arrests for alleged violations.

Dhanya Thakkar, Trend Micro Asia Pacific managing director said: “We anticipate 2016 to be a very significant year for both sides of the cybercrime equation.

Read more: In omen for DDoS-hit Australia, new reflection attacks leverage third-party services

“Government and the private sector will begin to see the benefit of cybersecurity foresight, with changes in legislation and the increasing addition of cybersecurity officers within enterprises. In addition, as users become more aware of online threats, attackers will react by developing sophisticated, personalised schemes to target individuals and corporations alike.”

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Tags ACMAcyber securityAustralian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)CSO Australiavulnerable servicesInternet Security Initiative (AISI)

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