During the 1940s and 1950s the Soviet intelligence service, the KGB,
used One-Time Pads to encrypt their cables to and from Moscow. Poor
encryption practices allowed the 5-EYES allies to decrypt some of
the cables under Operation VENONA, revealing the presence of a
Soviet spy ring active in Australia and prompting the United Kingdom
to urge Australia to establish a security service, leading to the
establishment of ASIO in 1949.
ASIO has been at the heart of Australia’s national security and will
continue to work to protect Australia, its people and interest now
and into the future.
By necessity, ASIO has always worked quietly – often in the shadows
– to provide timely and highly effective security intelligence, work
vital to protecting Australia.
It is this amazing, intriguing and secret history of ASIO that has
fired up the imagination of the public and has been the inspiration
for many classic literature and popular culture.