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Albanese faces questions regarding major retailer credential stuffing hacks

The Australian Prime Minister has faced heavy questioning following the spike in credential stuffing incidents targeting Australian businesses.

user icon Daniel Croft
Mon, 22 Jan 2024
Albanese faces questions regarding major retailer credential stuffing hacks
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Last week saw roughly 20,000 consumers suffer at the hands of a credential stuffing campaign that targeted major Australian retailers such as Dan Murphy’s and Guzman y Gomez, as well as streaming service Binge.

Credential stuffing, in basic terms, is when a threat actor sources a dataset of stolen credentials and then runs them through the login screens of different services. In larger datasets, the threat actor would have a server or some other infrastructure to automate inputs.

As many consumers reuse passwords and login credentials, these attacks work, and threat actors thus gain access and steal the data of consumers, including personal identifying information and financial data.

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Following the incidents, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has faced intense questioning throughout media appearances.

Speaking at a press conference, Albanese reiterated the work the government had done to secure Australia against cyber threats and meet the government’s goal of making Australia the most cyber secure country in the world by 2030.

“We have a National Cyber Security Strategy, we have a cyber security minister, which those things weren’t in place before we were in office,” he said, according to Riotact.

“We have provided significant support for the Australian Signals Directorate. We also are conducting a significant campaign about education as well – telling people, make sure that you don’t click on a link which is there, which can open you up to vulnerability.

“But when it comes to the targeting of businesses as well, we’ve had roundtables that I’ve attended and helped chair personally, along with [Home Affairs and Cyber Security Minister] Clare O’Neil, with the business community, including all the peak organisations, but also the finance sector, but also industry organisations as well.”

Albanese added that cyber security was one of three main threats to national security, alongside pandemics and international conflicts. He also added that climate change is a significant threat.

In another interview, Albanese said that those who were caught in scams in Australia find it difficult to recoup lost funds from the bank, adding that it is something the government is looking at changing to be not like the UK.

“It is a huge issue,” Albanese said in a radio interview seen by Riotact.

“Stephen Jones, the Assistant Treasurer, has been holding forums right around the country, getting input, getting ideas …

“This is a scourge with so many vulnerable people being ripped off who’ve acted in absolutely good faith, and we need to make sure that they are protected …

“Banks tend to not send spontaneous links to people and the Tax Office the same thing. And that is very important, that people be protected.

“But we’ll look at any measures that are possible in order to protect consumers because that’s our priority.

“I haven’t examined the UK model, but I know that Stephen Jones is having a comprehensive look at what further measures can be taken in order to protect consumers.

“The cyber issue is important for individuals, and we know as well it’s important, cyber security, for companies as well, with some of the hacks that have occurred from both domestic, but importantly as well from foreign sources, that represent a real threat to us and to our economic security.”

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