Category: Managing Threats & Attacks

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Australia’s international cyber strategy pivots towards critical technology in neighboring countries
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Even the Best Fall Down Sometimes: Nine Network suffers large-scale cyber attack
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City of Oldsmar, Florida narrowly avoids ‘hot water’ in remote cyberattack on its infrastructure
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Leaky Port: City of Port Phillip Inadvertently Discloses Personal Information on Federal Government Website
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Continuing to take its Toll: Toll Group still feeling impacts nine months after experiencing Ransomware Attack
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First reported death connected to misfired ransomware attack on German hospital
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From voluntary action and collaboration to legislation and classified capabilities: Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy 2020 released
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Cyber Criminals “King of the (Data Breach) Jungle”: 61% of all Data Breaches caused by Malicious or Criminal Attacks, according to OAIC Report
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Can It Get Any Worse? Travel Giant CWT pays $4.5 Million USD ransom to Hackers who Stole Corporate Files and Knocked 30,000 Computers Offline
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Update: Australia’s 2020 Cyber Security Strategy

Australia’s international cyber strategy pivots towards critical technology in neighboring countries

By Cameron Abbott, Michelle Aggromito, Jacqueline Patishman and Emily Gamaroff

In a bid to maintain stability in the Indo-Pacific region, Australia has pledged $37.5 million to bolster the security and development of critical technology in neighboring countries as part of its updated International Cyber Engagement Strategy. The funding aims to promote the resilience of critical technologies in Southeast Asia and to support Australia’s Pacific neighbours by improving online safety, counter misinformation and to fight cybercrime.

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Even the Best Fall Down Sometimes: Nine Network suffers large-scale cyber attack

By Cameron Abbott, Warwick Andersen, Rob Pulham and Max Evans

Channel Nine has suffered the largest cyber attack on a media company in Australia’s history, according to reports from IT News, the AFR and Nine News.

The cyber attack, reported by Channel Nine as a variation of a ransomware attack, struck early Sunday morning, resulting in television and digital production systems being offline for more than 24 hours. The attack impaired Channel Nine’s ability to broadcast from its Sydney studios, forcing the media outlet to shift operations to its Melbourne studios.

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City of Oldsmar, Florida narrowly avoids ‘hot water’ in remote cyberattack on its infrastructure

By Cameron AbbottRob Pulham and Jacqueline Patishman

News reports have surfaced reporting that a hacker in the US gained access to the Oldsmar’s water treatment plant system in an attempt to release a corrosive chemical into the Oldsmar’s water supply.

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Leaky Port: City of Port Phillip Inadvertently Discloses Personal Information on Federal Government Website

By Cameron Abbott, Warwick Andersen and Max Evans

The City of Port Phillip Council has accidentally published to data.gov.au personal information of an unknown number of residents who had reported graffiti, according to an article from ITNews supported by a statement released by the council.

According to the statement, during work to automate the generation of a graffiti dataset, an incorrect version was selected which led to the unapproved publication of personal information such as names, phone numbers and/or email addresses of the persons who reported graffiti to the council. As the article notes, of the approximately 764 email addresses and 859 phone numbers that were published, 53% of the email addresses belonged to businesses and 28% of the phone numbers were for landlines and 1300 numbers.

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Continuing to take its Toll: Toll Group still feeling impacts nine months after experiencing Ransomware Attack

By Cameron Abbott, Keely O’Dowd and Max Evans

Back in February, we blogged about the large scale ransomware attack experienced by Toll Group.

IT News reports Toll is still “mopping up” the damage caused by these attacks. Since July, Toll has embarked on a year-long accelerated cyber resilience program incorporating teams in India and Australia which led to the appointment of former Telstra Asia Pacific CISO Berin Lautenbach as Toll’s global head of information security in August.

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First reported death connected to misfired ransomware attack on German hospital

By Cameron Abbott and Keely O’Dowd

News reports have surfaced that a woman in Germany has died due to a delay in receiving medical care. What is most concerning about this death is the circumstances in which the woman tragically passed away.

According to reports, the woman needed urgent medical treatment and the hospital she presented to, Duesseldorf University Hospital, was unable to admit her as it was dealing with a ransomware attack.

The hackers exploited a vulnerability in a widely used commercial add-on software. This attack caused a failure in the hospital’s IT systems resulting in it being unable to access data and diverting emergency patients elsewhere. The woman was redirected to a hospital approximately 30km away from Duesseldorf University Hospital, which led to a delay in the woman receiving treatment. Unfortunately the delay proved fatal and the women passed away before she could be treated.

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From voluntary action and collaboration to legislation and classified capabilities: Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy 2020 released

By Cameron Abbott, Keely O’Dowd and Rebecca Gill

In July this year, we blogged about the Australian Government’s plan to release Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy (Strategy). On 6 August 2020, the Strategy was released after consultation with the public and industry actors.

The Strategy will invest $1.67 billion over the next 10 years – the largest ever financial commitment to cyber security – to create a more secure online world for Australians, our businesses and the essential services which we depend upon. This will be achieved through the following:

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Cyber Criminals “King of the (Data Breach) Jungle”: 61% of all Data Breaches caused by Malicious or Criminal Attacks, according to OAIC Report

By Cameron Abbott, Keely O’Dowd and Max Evans

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has released its report on notifications received under the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme for period January to June 2020.

The OAIC reported 518 breaches were notified to it in the relevant period. The OAIC noted a 3% decrease from the 532 breaches notified in the period July 2019 to December 2019. However, there was a 16% increase on the 447 notifications received during January to June 2019.

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Can It Get Any Worse? Travel Giant CWT pays $4.5 Million USD ransom to Hackers who Stole Corporate Files and Knocked 30,000 Computers Offline

By Cameron Abbott and Max Evans

In these unprecedented times, where travel around the globe is primarily halted as nations get to grips with controlling the outbreak of COVID-19, many would think it couldn’t get any worse for travel companies. However, they would be wrong, as according to an article from ITNews, American travel management giant CWT has reportedly paid a whopping 414 bitcoin, equivalent to a value of 4.5 Million USD (approximately 6.3 Million AUD), to hackers who successfully exfiltrated over 2 terabytes of sensitive corporate files.

According to the Article, the successful hackers used a strain of ransomware referred to as “Ragnar Locker” which places computer files into a virtual prison through encryption and renders them unusable until the victim pays for the keys. Then in CWT had to negotiate in a public chat forum to pay for the release.  It gives us a rare insight into the dialogue that followed. CWT negotiated the hackers down from their initial demand of 10 Million USD. According to the Report, whilst the hackers claimed to have stolen over 2 terabytes of files including financial reports, security documents and employees’ personal data, it was not clear whether any customer data was compromised.

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Update: Australia’s 2020 Cyber Security Strategy

By Cameron Abbott and Keely O’Dowd

The Australian Government is currently developing its next Cyber Security Strategy, which is scheduled for release in the coming months.

The Australian Government 2020 Cyber Security Strategy Industry Advisory Panel has released a report consisting of 60 recommendations to inform the 2020 Cyber Security Strategy. The Panel’s 60 recommendations are structured around five key pillars:

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