THE advent of cyber espionage is serving only to reinvigorate the craft of espionage, making such spying easier than ever, the ASIO chief, David Irvine, said.
Mr Irvine told a national security conference in Canberra last night that espionage, which has taken a back seat to terrorism since the attacks of September 11, 2001, was alive and well.
''Foreign powers will continue to attempt to acquire sensitive political, commercial, military and other information from a variety of sources and means,'' he said.
Mr Irvine has been increasingly vocal on the subject of the cyber threat.
The declaration by Mr Irvine also comes as the government releases a public discussion paper designed to inform next year's cyber white paper - Australia's first attempt at an overarching cyber security strategy.
Recent incidents such as the leaking of more than 250,000 classified US diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks and the intrusion into the parliamentary email system - believed to be by Chinese spies - have underscored the threat.