Australia is currently the target of a “sophisticated” cyber attack – and an unnamed foreign government is behind it.

Scott Morrison, the country’s prime minister, says the attacks have targeted all levels of the government – as well as political organisations, essential service providers and operators of other critical infrastructure.

“We know it is a sophisticated state-based cyber actor because of the scale and nature of the targeting,” he said at a news conference.

Mr Morrison has stopped short of naming the country responsible for this “malicious” activity, but warned: “There are not a large number of state-based actors that can engage in this type of activity.”

He also stressed there is no evidence of a “large-scale” breach affecting people’s personal information.

The prime minister said he is making the threat public to raise awareness – and said the frequency of attacks has increased “over many months”.

Last March, Reuters reported that Australian officials had concluded China was responsible for a hacking attack on parliament in February 2019 – but Beijing denied it was responsible.

Australia recently strained ties with China by pushing for an international inquiry into the source and spread of coronavirus.

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