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ACS backs action on state-sponsored cyberwarfare


Sydney, Friday 1 June; The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) and Australian Computer Society (ACS) today announced the release of a new national cyberwarfare deterrence policy paper, one that’s designed to reduce the growing number of cyber attacks being initiated by nation states.

The report, called Deterrence in cyberspace, was developed by globally respected cyber security expert Chris Painter in conjunction with ASPI. It details the steps countries can take to deter future cyber attacks from other nation states.

It includes a set of recommendations for countries going forward, including speeding up the active response time to cyber attacks; how to provide quick and effective responsive actions; and working with other like-minded countries to impose greater costs on bad actors. Most importantly, it recommends treating cyber security like “a core national and economic security concern and not a boutique technical issue.”

ACS President Yohan Ramasundara endorsed the recommendations contained in the report.

“Bad actors on the international stage have gotten away with too much for too long,” said Ramasundara. “Just last week there was a virus linked to an allegedly Russian-sponsored hacking group that infected half a million routers worldwide. In the last US Presidential election, Russian agents were allegedly engaged to use social media to spread disinformation as well as hacking the offices of the Democratic National Convention.”

“The reason this can occur is because up until now, there have been very few repercussions for state based actors that engage in this kind of behaviour. We must make these attacks have consequences. This paper provides guidance on how to achieve that.”

Ramasundara also noted this was about much more than national security.

“Many of the major malware outbreaks of the past few years have been developed from tools stolen or copied from the products of state-sponsored hacking groups. This has had an impact far wider than national security. The malware developed from these tools have affected businesses and individuals as well. If we can deter the use of these tools, then the internet will become safer for all of us.”

The report can be found online at

Further information

Thomas Shanahan

External Engagement Manager
M - 0417 678 474
E -




About ACS

ACS is the professional association for Australia's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. More than 37,000 ACS members work in business, education, government and the community. ACS exists to create the environment and provide the opportunities for members and partners to succeed. ACS strives for ICT professionals to be recognised as drivers of innovation in our society, relevant across all sectors, and to promote the formulation of effective policies on ICT and related matters. Visit for more information.