In-home baby monitors are being targeted by hackers, with the cyber security threat growing enormously over the last 12 months.
The troubling development was revealed by Dan Tehan, the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security, as he released the 2017 threat report.
Speaking at the National Press Club, Mr Tehan said the hackers were watching, and listening, to babies as they sleep.
“This is something that is entirely intolerable,” Mr Tehan said.
The report revealed 47,000 cyber “incidents”, or a 15 percent increase, on last year.
Over half were on-line scams or fraud, a jump of 22 percent. 671 incidents were considered serious enough to trigger operational responses.
“Business is booming for cyber criminals, and cyber criminals are treating cyber as business,” the Minister said.
“The days of the cyber threat being deployed by a hooded computer geek in a basement are over.
“Sophisticated organised criminal networks are taking control and franchising their business model.”
In one of the most serious cases, a “malicious cyber actor” compromised the network of a small Australian company with national security contracts, stealing a significant amount of data.
But it’s not just big business or security agencies under threat.
“What is happening to mums and dads, and the community, more generally, is just as alarming,” Mr Tehan said, warning individuals, small business owners, and local communities are under threat.
“If you are hit by cyber crime, don’t regret it, report it,” he told the Press Club.
Mr Tehan urged everyone to protect their data, and identities, and install and upgrading software for all devices from smart phones, and tablets, to personal computers.
“In the next 12 months, there will be more globally significant attacks,” he said.
“There are new cyber threats on the horizon, such as cyber terrorism.
“They all pose a danger of financial and social damage. It is why cyber security must become second nature to all Australians.”