Cyber threats on the rise – report


The Australian Signals Directorate’s (ASD) Annual Cyber Threat Report for 2022-23 lays bare Australia’s cyber threat landscape.

Reflecting the global strategic context, this year’s report highlights that Australian governments, critical infrastructure, businesses and households continue to be the target of malicious state and non-state cyber actors.

Key findings from the report include:

  • ASD received over 33,000 calls to its Australian Cyber Security Hotline, an increase of 32 per cent from 2021-22
  • ASD’s Australian Cyber Security Centre received over 94,000 reports of cybercrime over the financial year, an increase of 23 per cent from 2021-22
  • ASD responded to over 1,100 cyber security incidents, with over 10 per cent of those related to attacks using ransomware – a type of malicious software used to lock users out of networks unless a ransom payment is received
  • And the average cost of cybercrime per report rose by 14 per cent from 2021-22, to $71,600 for large businesses, $97,200 for mid-size businesses and $46,000 for small businesses.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles said: “Recent global and national events have demonstrated the growing threat to Australia by malicious cyber actors.

“The Annual Cyber Threat Report demonstrates how governments, businesses and critical infrastructure networks have been targeted by state and non-state actors, with the aim to destabilise and disrupt.”

According to a statement, the report illustrates the persistent threat that state cyber capabilities pose to Australia.

It also shows that cybercrime remains a major threat to Australians, as cybercriminals continue to adapt their destructive tactics to extract maximum profit from their crimes.

Data breaches also affected millions of Australians in the last financial year and risked ongoing harm through fraud and scams.

Many Australian systems and networks were at risk because they were unpatched and threat actors were quick to exploit critical vulnerabilities, sometimes launching attacks within hours.

Picture: Richard Marles

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