The Biggest, Most Recent Cyber Attacks in Australia
Unfortunately for Aussie businesses, cyber attacks are on the rise. Some are just waiting for a chance, a vulnerability in your network. Others scheme and target even organisations with sophisticated information security systems because hackers are also refining their capabilities. If you want to test the integrity of your information system, get IT audit companies to review your security measures and data recovery plan.
Below we will look at some Australian companies that have fallen victim to IT vulnerabilities. These are real-world examples as to why you need to have an IT audit.
LandMark White’s Data Disclosure Incident
Earlier in January, LandMark White (LMW), Australia’s largest independent property valuation and property consultancy firm, reported a leak of property valuation details and contact information due to an exposed API on one of its valuation platforms. The exposed programming interface was closed on January 23, but LMW was informed by a corporate partner on February 5 that the dataset has been disclosed.
While the dataset doesn’t include loan application details, LMW has updated its FAQ about the data disclosure incident. The ASX-listed property valuer warned affected individuals about phishing and other spam communications. LMW acted fast, but the cyber attack had some serious effects on its business. Major banks paused the use of the company’s property valuation services for a few days.
Melbourne Heart Group’s Patient Files
The Melbourne Heart Group (MHG), a group of specialists who lease rooms at Cabrini Malvern, was attacked using ransomware last month. About 15,000 patient files were hacked and became inaccessible, even to MHG. The only way to access it was to pay money. This is similar to the cyber attack on Melbourne’s Catholic Archdiocese last year. Fortunately, the hacker infiltrated the church’s internal IT system and the sensitive data related to the church’s school runs on a different network.
While MHG assured that the privacy of patients was not compromised in any way, healthcare groups should watch out for this kind of attack. Patient data has become the favourite of cybercriminals because this data can also be used for other crimes such as identity theft. And in life-threatening situations, hospitals have no choice but to give in to the demands of the hacker.
An Attack on Australian Parliament House Computer Network
Last week, the prime minister told Parliament that the computer networks of major political parties suffered a cyber attack carried out by a “sophisticated state actor” in early February. “Members will be aware that the Australian Cyber Security Centre recently identified a malicious intrusion into the Australian Parliament House computer network,” he said in a national security statement in the House of Representatives. The networks of some political parties—Liberal, Labor, and Nationals—were also affected. There’s no proof that these attacks led to electoral interference, but the Australian Electoral Commission has been briefed.
With all of these incidents that occurred even before we reach the end of the third quarter, the prime minister sufficiently summed it all up:
“The methods used by malicious actors are constantly evolving and this incident just re-enforces yet again the importance of cybersecurity as a fundamental part of everyone’s business.”
The Final Word
Call one of the leading IT audit companies in your area to make sure you are not vulnerable to cyber attacks and you do have a disaster recovery plan that works. Don’t be like these examples!