He makes a good point. Attribution is hard (evidenced by the Russians ‘hiding behind‘ the Iranians). Love the use of the word ‘buggalugs’. Not one I’ve heard coming out of GCHQ…:
The Australian government wouldn’t necessarily call out specific nation-states for cyber attacks or cyber espionage. Attribution is hard, and it isn’t done lightly, according to Major General Marcus Thompson, head of the Australian Army’s Information Warfare Division.
“There is a tradeoff here between intelligence and evidence, and as a military guy I’m obviously focused on intelligence,” Thompson said on Tuesday.
Intelligence analysis doesn’t always deliver the kind of standards for evidence that’s needed for law enforcement or public attribution, he said.
“We make an assessment, and it’s not just necessarily about being able to trace those electrons back through whatever to ‘Hah! There’s buggalugs sitting at his or her computer screen’. It’s contextual.”
Thompson also says it’s important to remember that espionage isn’t new.
“We’ve got to be careful not to jump up and down — throw the toys out of the cot — when an internationally normal activity of espionage is being conducted, because others do it too.”