Kate Grayson writes:

Given the Minister for Foreign Affairs' recent reluctance to comment on cyber-espionage it is interesting to note that two years ago (2 June 2011) in Senate Estimates Hearings for Foreign Affairs and Trade, the then Secretary, Dennis Richardson, was far more forthcoming discussing the daily prevalence of cyber-attacks on the DFAT network:

'Mr Richardson: We have. Consistent with the public reporting and media commentary, there are regular attempts to penetrate our systems.

Senator TROOD: Which you take to be what—cyber-espionage or something like that?

Mr Richardson: They can be anything ranging from skilled kids seeing what they can do to sophisticated hackers getting a kick out of it, through to attempted espionage.

Senator TROOD: How regularly do these attempts at penetration occur?

Mr Richardson: I stand to be corrected but I doubt whether there would be any 24-hour period of any day in which you would not get something.' (p.58)