The Australian Government has condemned Russia for a “pattern of malicious cyber activity” which it described as “unacceptable”.

In a joint statement from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne, the government revealed the GRU, the intelligence arm of the Russian military, was to blame for a spate of recent cyber attacks.

“This is unacceptable and the Australian Government calls on all countries, including Russia, to refrain from these types of malicious activities,” the government said.

“Cyberspace is not the Wild West.”

The government said Russia was flouting the very laws it helped negotiate with regards to responsible behaviour in cyberspace.

Despite Australia not being “not significantly impacted” by the attacks, the Russian-led attacks affected the ability of the public in other countries to go about their daily lives.

“It caused significant, indiscriminate harm to civilian infrastructure and resulted in millions of dollars in economic damage, including in Russia,” the Australian government said.

The attacks affected international sporting institutions, business, media and politics.

Fair go, Russia

The international community has condemned Russia for the attacks, saying it undermines international security and global economic stability.

Publicly naming Russia is a “first step” in the consequences for those who snub their noses at international laws, the government said.

“Our message is clear: the rule of law applies online, just as it does offline.”