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Thursday, 09 December 2021 10:15

Egg on Daily Tele's face as Qld firm denies state role in network attack Featured

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Egg on Daily Tele's face as Qld firm denies state role in network attack Image by analogicus from Pixabay

Queensland's CS Energy has denied that there was any indication a network attack on the company in November was by a state-based group.

Chief executive Andrew Bills said in a statement issued on Wednesday: "We continue to progressively restore our systems and are working closely with cyber security experts and relevant state and federal agencies."

Papers belonging to the Murdoch stable claimed on Wednesday that the attack was staged by a group from China.

In a somewhat exaggerated account, the Daily Telegraph's political editor James Morrow wrote: "Chinese hackers came within minutes of shutting down a series of power stations capable of lighting three million homes..."

Morrow appeared to be unaware that a group using the Conti ransomware had claimed credit for the attack back in November.

The tale was picked up by the equally excitable Daily Mirror.

Bills said further that CS Energy's "ICT systems and safeguards had layers of separation and protection, which enabled it to contain and protect its critical infrastructure to ensure continuity of power to Queenslanders".

Somewhat strangely, the first person to call out Morrow was the Australian Financial Review's Joe Aston, one of the writers of the Rear Window column.

In his withering style Aston wrote: "Sydney’s Daily Telegraph splashed its Wednesday edition with the revelation of 'China’s Dark Plot', an exclusive on Beijing’s 'cyber hit on our power network'.

"The tableau, rendered in Dulux customer favourite 'Communist Red', depicted Xi Jinping shaking a clenched fist and looming over a defenceless Queensland power station. It was a front page entirely free of the burden of nuance or sophistication. Or facts."

The gang behind Conti has a website on the dark web, where it lists all its victims. But there is also a site on that portion of the web accessible to world+dog, which is more or less a mirror of its site on the dark web.

But then perhaps one should not be surprised at reports of this nature from the Mudroch media, trying to implicate China and lacking facts. As iTWire has pointed out, two recent reports indulged in fiction about the Chinese telecommunication giant Huawei Technologies recently, claiming the company was pulling out of Australia.


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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