A cyber-attack against Telstra’s network that left tens of thousands of homes without broadband is a real problem for all carriers and the Australian Government, because it shows how quickly Australia could be bought to a shuddering halt by Chinese or Russian hackers running denial of service attacks against Australian infrastructure.
Today millions of Australian homes are without broadband and that means no IP security cameras, no smart home technology and no content streaming or accessing the web.
The stark reality is that the next war will as much a cyber war as it will be a missile war.
Foreign powers such as China will move to quickly knock out our carriers networks exactly as cyber attackers have done today against Telstra, but if it’s war they will also knock out power grids and have the power to control other essential services.
Right now, hundreds of businesses are without the ability to transact payments, over the Internet and thousands of homes are without an essential supply called broadband.
Globally cyber-attacks are being undertaken by foreign Governments such as China and Russia and violent anarchists who in the US have attempted to bring down Federal Government run operations with Cyber attacks.
Cyber-attacks such as the one that has bought down Telstra is a straight-out digital attack that hit servers using viruses and hacking attack tools.
In the case of Telstra, they chose to impact the DNS which stands for Domain Name System this is basically the phonebook of the Internet.
You and I and tens of thousands of businesses access information online through domain names such as Telstra.com.au or news.com.au.
Every day we browse web sites for information via what’s called an Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.
DNS translates domain names to IP addresses so browsers can load Internet resources and information that you are looking for such as emails and
In the case of Telstra, hackers have bought their operation to a standstill and that resulted in millions of businesses being cut off instantly along with broadband to millions.
Cyber criminals which Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned Australians about last month can easily disrupt the vital computer systems of a business or Government with the aim of creating damage, death, and destruction.
Future wars will see hackers using computer code to attack an enemy’s infrastructure, fighting alongside troops using conventional weapons like guns and missiles.
What todays hackers did was penetrate Telstra’s network which in reality should have had the protection in place to stop any attacks.
At the least they should have had an early warning system to stop the hack attack.
Telstra’s home broadband including NBN services were affected by the outage and it was particularly hard for those Victorians who were told today that they were set to face stage 4 restrictions due to the COVID-19 epidemic gripping the State.
According to DownDetector.com, the outage seems to have particularly affected users across the east coast, including in Sydney and Melbourne.
Telstra revealed the problem was due to “malicious traffic attacking some of our services.”
“We are confident we have blocked all of this malicious traffic and are working to get you back up and running again.”
It comes as Australians are continuing access the NBN in record numbers, as users increasingly shift their work and study loads to remote.