A former cyber security adviser to the federal government has hit out at those behind the cyber attacks on Australia, describing it as "abhorrent" behaviour but wouldn't go as far as naming the likely culprit.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week confirmed Australia has been the target of increased cyber attacks by a foreign entity, describing it as a "sophisticated, state-based cyber actor".
Former National Cyber Security adviser Alistair MacGibbon says the the purpose of the attacks was more than likely for strategy purposes and to steal Australia's intellectual property.
"Of all the things during a COVID-19 world to steal the intellectual property of nation's in order to advance your own industries I think is abhorrent and certainly not good global citizenship," Mr MacGibbon told Sky New's Sunday Agenda program.
"This is an affront to our sovereignty."
However, like the prime minister, he declined to say who he thought was behind the attacks.
China has denied any part in the attacks, saying such suggestions are "baseless".
But the Australian Strategic Policy Institute is standing by its accusation that the attack was "95 per cent or more" likely to have been launched from China because of its scale and intensity.
Labor frontbencher Chris Bowen accused the government of being "asleep at the wheel" when it comes to cyber security, saying it had not had a strategy since 2016 when the previous one ran out.
"I'm worried about the government's level of exposure. The government has not taken this seriously," he told ABC television's Insiders program.
Australian Associated Press