ASD maintains a high level of technical expertise in offensive cyber capabilities. This includes expertise in network exploitation, vulnerability analysis, malware development, and advanced persistent threats (APTs). Skilled personnel develop and deploy sophisticated tools and techniques to effectively carry out offensive cyber operations.
The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) uses its offensive cyber capability against various adversaries to protect Australians and Australia’s national interests within the legal framework and authorisation of the Australian Government. Offensive cyber operations involve a broad range of offshore activities designed to deter, disrupt, degrade and deny adversaries in support of Government national security priorities.
We use our offensive cyber capabilities to prevent and disrupt to malicious cyber intrusions and attacks. ASD can disrupt offshore cybercriminals by disabling their infrastructure and disrupting their business model. Offensive cyber operations involve targeted intrusions into foreign networks or systems to gather intelligence in accesses that can be used. ASD may conduct cyber espionage to collect information on potential threats, including foreign government activities and cyber capabilities.
ASD engages in international cooperation and partnerships with allied intelligence agencies to collectively address cyber threats. These partnerships include sharing information, expertise, best practices and conducting joint operations to counter common adversaries and enhance global cybersecurity.
Trust and transparency
Offensive cyber operations by ASD require explicit authorisation from the Australian Government. These operations are subject to rigorous oversight, review processes, and strict adherence to legal, ethical, and operational guidelines.
We are committed to increasing transparency around our offensive activities, legal authorities and ethical responsibilities as we execute offensive cyber operations supporting the Australian Defence Force (ADF).