China: A February attack on the Australian Parliament forced immediate action on the part of the politicians, scrambling to change their passwords on all accounts after it was discovered that a “sophisticated threat actor” managed to break into their network. Five people that were involved with the Australian Parliament at the time of the attack have come forward stating that after an investigation into the attack, they concluded that China was behind it–but did not name a specific group from China. Australia and China have a strong trade relationship, with China being Australia’s number one exporter of commodities such as iron, coal and agricultural goods. Because of this relationship, Australia was not quick to name China as the culprit and even after the investigation into the attack, they did not name China publicly. Australia was trying to keep the peace between China and themselves by not naming them publicly because it could have decimated their economy if they upset China.
By not confronting China in a more public manner, Australia may have opened themselves up to be more of a target by other countries. This will likely not be the last attack that is seen on Australia by bigger countries, especially if they believe that Australia will not publicly confront them if they do some sort of business together.