by Nastasha Tupas

Allies Australia, Japan, US and India are set to work together on bolstering cyber security with initiatives aimed at strengthening protection for user data, software and supply chains after meeting in Tokyo this week.

According to a Quad Joint Leaders’ statement, the leaders committed to sharing threat information and identifying potential risks in supply chains for digitally enabled products and services aiming to improve the collective cyber security of critical infrastructure.

Following the meeting, the White House revealed the countries are set to collaborate on work aimed at enhancing the “software development ecosystem”, in a statement.

“Aligning baseline software security standards for government procurement, leveraging our collective purchasing power to improve the broader software development ecosystem so that all users can benefit.

“The Quad partners will coordinate capacity building programs in the Indo-Pacific region under the Quad Cybersecurity Partnership, and will initiate the first-ever Quad Cybersecurity Day to help individual internet users across our nations, the Indo-Pacific region, and beyond to better protect themselves from cyber threats,” the White House said in a statement.

Chinese hackers have been linked to a range of cyber breaches in each country, particularly disruptions that targeted critical infrastructure. Last December, Chinese threat actors allegedly targeted energy provider CS Energy in Queensland, which almost fell victim to the ransomware attack, but managed to narrowly avoid the shutdown of generators that could have blacked out three million homes according to security analysts. Meanwhile, Indian officials accused China of attempting to hack their power sector, targeting seven facilities managing the electricity grid in Northern India last month according to Bloomberg.

Chinese officials criticised the fortification of cyber security protection initiated by several countries, including those in the Quad over the past few years. According to CNN, China accused the US of “trying to stoke “geopolitical rivalry” with an “Indo-Pacific NATO” in response.

Last year, the US, Australia and Japan accused state-backed Chinese threat actors for hacking the Microsoft Exchange email server software that exploited the software’s vulnerabilities according to AP, with the aim of gaining access to hundreds of computers and devices.

The Quad leaders are set to meet again in Australia for the next in-person summit in 2023.


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