BREAKING: Australia hit by massive cyber attack
Australia is currently being hit with a massive cyber attack by a "sophisticated, state-based cyber actor", Prime Minister Scott Morrison says.
"This activity is targeting Australian organisations across a range of sectors, including all levels of government, industry, political organisations, education, health, essential service providers and operators of other critical infrastructure," Mr Morrison told reporters Canberra.
"We know it is a sophisticated, state-based cyber actor because of the scale and nature of the targeting and the tradecraft used. Regrettably, this activity is not new. Frequency has been increasing."
Mr Morrison says the Australian Cyber Security Centre has been "actively working with targeted organisations to ensure that they have appropriate technical mitigations in place and their defences are appropriately raised".
Asked which nation was suspected to be behind the attack, Mr Morrison said the "threshold for public attribution on a technical level is extremely high" and that Australia "doesn't engage lightly in public attributions".
"When and if we choose to do so is always done in the context of what we believe to be in our strategic national interests," he said.
"What I can confirm is there are not a large number of state-based actors that can engage in this type of activity and it is clear, based on the advice that we have received, that this has been done by a state-based actor, with very significant capabilities."
Mr Morrison would not be drawn on whether China was behind the attack.
"I can only say what I have said," he said.
"The Australian Government is not making any public attribution about these matters. We are very confident that this is the actions of a state based actor. We have not gone any further than that. I can't control what speculation others might engage in on this issue or, frankly, any other. I have simply laid out the facts as we know them and as we have disclosed today."
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese earlier said the government had invited Labor to take part in a security briefing.