Australia's top cyber spies are launching offensive strikes against sophisticated foreign criminals who have been exploiting the COVID crisis to hack mobile phones.

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds has revealed the operation led by the highly secretive Australian Signals Directorate had "protected hundreds of Australians and thousands more foreigners from organised and sophisticated foreign cyber criminals".

The Australian Signals Directorate Headquarters in Canberra has been the launch pad for a secretive war against foreign criminals.
The Australian Signals Directorate Headquarters in Canberra has been the launch pad for a secretive war against foreign criminals.

"These cyber criminals have been targeting Australians through COVID-19 themed SMS phishing campaigns that are designed to trick Australians into downloading advanced criminal malware onto their mobile phones," she said.

 

In March, the ASD warned that crime groups were sending fake medical alerts and government advisories related to COVID-19, to steal identities for fraud.

 

Originally published as Aussie spies launch strikes on foreign hackers



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