chapter  8
23 Pages


Recognising the national cyber emergency in Australia
WithChris Dufour, Tim Newberry, Rachel Azafrani

The advent of the cyber world has opened up new avenues of malign influence on the Australian public, as well as on previously less accessible populations around the world, many of which are undiscovered and unconsidered due to current resourcing and priorities for detecting and countering foreign-based influence attacks. The Australian government must begin to consider how cyberspace is being used in subtle ways not only as a means to disrupt the country’s technology and infrastructure, but also to shape the perceptions of its citizenry. This chapter examines recent cyber influence strategies of three key actors, Russia, China, and the alt-right, in the current global information environment and applies them to the Australian context. The authors examine how the rise of misinformation and/or disinformation has been used to achieve the actor’s ultimate objective, whatever that may be, stated or otherwise. The chapter employs a limited framework of this research approach toward detecting any undiscovered influence by these three actors in the Australian sphere of influence. From this analysis, the authors propose strategic recommendations for future Australian government initiatives to combat foreign influence on a grander scale.