Report Prying Minds

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Director-General of Security Director-General's introduction
 Director-General's video
 What is NITRO and when should I use it?

Director-General's introduction

Australia’s security environment is complex, challenging and changing. National security and business security have never been so entwined, making collaboration and cooperation crucial. This includes reporting any suspicious activity that could pose a threat to security.

ASIO now assesses that espionage and foreign interference has supplanted terrorism as our nation’s principal security concern. In particular, foreign spies are aggressively targeting Australia’s defence industry. It is crucial that you recognise and report any suspicious approaches — security is a shared responsibility.

Any compromise of Australia’s defence industry could mean Australian companies lose intellectual property or commercial advantage and suffer reputational damage. It could also put the Australian Government’s planned investment in defence capability at risk. Above all, any compromise of Australia’s defence industry and defence capability poses a threat to Australia’s national security.

The defence industry is most commonly targeted by ‘prying minds’ — foreign spies who are overly interested in information that shouldn’t concern them, or that they don’t have access to. This behaviour is a sign of the potential security incidents you need to report.

Using online or in-person approaches — or a combination of both — these prying minds seek to identify key personnel in defence industry, form relationships, and ultimately gain access to classified or sensitive information about Australia’s sovereign capabilities.

If you or your colleagues encounter any suspicious approaches, report it to your security managers and directly to ASIO through NITRO (Notifiable Incidents, Threats and Reportable Observations). NITRO is a secure internet portal, created for non-clearance holders to report concerns about espionage, insider threats or foreign interference.

NITRO offers a quick and secure way to inform ASIO if you, or someone you know, have been approached by a person seeking to access classified or sensitive information.

While the threat is sophisticated, you can mitigate it. Establishing and maintaining a positive security culture within your company is key, and reporting any potential threats through NITRO is an essential part of this culture.

As your security service, ASIO is here to help you ensure a secure working environment. By reporting suspicious behaviour, you can help us protect Australia’s national security.

Mike Burgess

Director-General's video

What is NITRO and when should I use it?

The NITRO portal is designed to receive reports about potential espionage, foreign interference or insider threats. Your information remains safe and anonymous, and goes directly to ASIO.

Incidents to report could include suspicious approaches in person or online, or persistent and unusual questioning — either targeted at you or someone you know.

For more information on how these incidents may look or feel, what you can do to report them and how this could help protect Australia’s national security, see the below information booklet or visit

Be aware—foreign spies are targeting Australia’s defence industry.

Be discreet—don’t divulge too much information — either in person or online — about what you’re working on, or who you’re working with.

Be responsible—if you see something suspicious, it could be the beginning of an act of espionage or foreign interference — so report it via NITRO.


NITRO Information
A5 Brochure

Report Prying Minds

Report Prying Minds
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