Tag: Cybersecurity

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Ransomware attacks – is there harm even when nothing is stolen?
2
$300 million of the Victorian Budget set aside to improve cyber security
3
Australia’s international cyber strategy pivots towards critical technology in neighboring countries
4
Continuing to take its Toll: Toll Group still feeling impacts nine months after experiencing Ransomware Attack
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Therapy clients become targets of blackmail campaign
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ICO issues record £20 million fine to British Airways
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Assessing the security of your cloud solutions
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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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Update: Australia’s 2020 Cyber Security Strategy
10
500,000 car owner records found on dark web

Ransomware attacks – is there harm even when nothing is stolen?

By Cameron Abbott and Ella Richards

In November 2020, accounting and consulting firm Nexia Australia (Nexia) was alerted to a “REvil” ransomware attack taking place within its system. The attackers threatened to post personal information of Nexia’s clients, customers and staff online unless it paid a $1m ransom within 72 hours.

It was reported that the hackers appeared to have posted Nexia’s confidential files onto the dark web; however, further investigation revealed that the hackers had merely posted screenshots of Nexia’s files. Realising this, Nexia dismissed the threat and refused to pay the ransom.

But it didn’t end there.

Shortly after the attack, a news service found the Nexia screenshots on the dark web and publicised that the company’s confidential information had been stolen and shared. Not only did Nexia have to reassure panicking clients that their confidential information remained uncompromised, it had to convince the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Australian Federal Police and the Privacy Commissioner that nothing of concern had been taken.

It doesn’t help that ransomware-as-a-service is becoming an increasingly lucrative business for cybercriminals to launch this type of attack. All that is needed is off-the-shelf malware, a wallet of cryptocurrency and it’s ready to deploy against an unsuspecting organisation.

The attack on Nexia demonstrates that even if there is no evidence that confidential information has been leaked, organisations can still suffer significant damage. The cost of reassuring stakeholders and mitigating reputational harm can almost match the consequences of a full blown attack.

As Warren Buffet famously quoted, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it”.  While Nexia recovered valiantly, this serves as a lesson that even when unsuccessful, the public ramifications of a ransomware attack are not to be underestimated.

$300 million of the Victorian Budget set aside to improve cyber security

By Cameron Abbott and Jacqueline Patishman

The recently released Victorian budget shows that more than $300 million of the 2021-2022 state budget is to be used to improve the government’s ability to prevent, detect and control cyber risks. Well sort of… it also includes a range of more vanilla possible projects such as case administration systems at AAT, upgrading radio communication for Forest Fire Management Fire Victoria staff – so perhaps it is not as large a cybersecurity spend as it first looks.

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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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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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Therapy clients become targets of blackmail campaign

By Cameron Abbott and Keely O’Dowd

Patients of a Finnish psychotherapy centre have become the victims of a blackmail campaign after the centre suffered a data breach. It is reported, the centre’s data was stolen during two attacks, one occurring in November 2018 and the other between the end of November 2018 and March 2019.

A cyber criminal (or criminals) has used the stolen data to contact patients demanding the payment of 200 euros in bitcoin, with this amount increasing to 500 euros if the patient refused to pay within 24 hours. If a patient refused to pay the ransom, the cyber criminal threatened to publish their personal information, including notes from therapy sessions. Around 300 records have been published on the dark web, which suggests patients are refusing to pay the ransom. The centre also received a ransom demand of 500,000 euros for the return of their data, which it has refused to pay.

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ICO issues record £20 million fine to British Airways

By Cameron Abbott and Rebecca Gill

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined British Airways £20 million, the ICO’s largest fine to date, for failing to protect the personal and financial details of more than 400,000 of its customers.

In a statement published online on 16 October 2020, the ICO stated that its investigation had found that British Airways was “processing a significant amount of personal data without adequate security measures in place”. This failure is said to have breached data protection laws and, subsequently, the airline was the subject of a cyberattack in 2018, which was not detected for more than two months.

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Assessing the security of your cloud solutions

By Cameron Abbott and Keely O’Dowd

The adoption of cloud based solutions offer many advantages to businesses, such as cost savings, efficiencies and flexibility. Cloud based solutions can also improve data security as cloud providers will be tasked with monitoring the security of their solutions, updating software and improving security features as required.    

However, adopting a cloud based solution will not automatically reduce an organisation’s exposure to cyber risks. Care must be taken before procuring a cloud based solution and any solution must be properly assessed from a security perspective.  

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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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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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500,000 car owner records found on dark web

By Cameron Abbott and Keely O’Dowd

Intelligence experts KELA recently announced that almost 500,000 customer records of different car suppliers were being offered for sale on the dark web by hacking group “KelvinSecurity Team”.

According to reports, almost 400,000 UK based BMW customers’ data is being sold on the online black market. This data includes the initials and surnames of car owners, home addresses, email addresses, the names of dealerships and car-registration information. The data of Mercedes, SEAT, Honda and Hyundai car owners also form part of the compromised customer records.

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