CYBER SECURITY BREACHES IN AUSTRALIA
It’s been a bad week for cyber security in Australia, especially if we were attempting to demonstrate our national priority around customer privacy and national security.
Firstly, we started the week with the news of Australia’s political parties suffering cyber attacks alongside the Parliament House computer network several weeks ago by a “sophisticated state actor”.
Major Health Breach
This was then followed by the headline of the cyber breach of 15,000 medical records at the specialist cardiology unit at Cabrini Hospital. A cyber crime syndicate hacked and scrambled the medical files and demanded a ransom. Melbourne Heart Group, which is based at the private hospital in Malvern, has been unable to access some patient files for more than three weeks, after the malware attack crippled its server and corrupted data. The online gang responsible for the data breach demanded a ransom be paid in cryptocurrency.
Close on the heals of Cabrini Hospital, car manufacturing giant Toyota was hit by a cyber attack, with employees entering their third day of being unable to access their emails. Toyota Australia’s servers were targeted on Tuesday and an investigation is under way into who perpetrated the potentially malicious cyber attack. The company confirmed it had been the victim of an attempted attack and was working with international cyber security experts to get its operating systems back online.
With many warnings that standard cyber security defences will not be enough. Australian businesses and government have been warned that they to prioritise cyber security and go beyond the standard cyber security defences if they wish to become cyber resilient. Yet we continue to store and share data that is unencrypted. Over 27,000 files have been breached from October – December 2018 alone. Now with three major breaches in one week – it is time we started defending instead of reacting.
PROPERTY VALUATION/REAL ESTATE BREACH
Thanks to a third party evaluation company, LandMark White, our major banks are faced with a data breach of their very own. Customers from Westpac, St.George, Bank of Melbourne, BankSA, and RAMS may have had their information leaked due to a third party cybersecurity breach. Property valuer LandMark White Limited has blamed an exposed API for the leak of a dataset that included property valuation details and contact information of a range of individuals held by the company. Australian banks may have to contact up to 100,000 of their customers in response to the breach.
Cyber breach trends in Australia continue to rise
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has released its fourth quarter report of notifiable data breaches between October – December 2018…and the trend is not looking good.
The report exposed that the OAIC received 262 notifications of data breaches, which has increased from the 245 notifications that were reported the previous quarter. Below are the key findings from their report:
Summary of report:
* Private health service providers reported 54 breaches, the finance sector reported 40 breaches, professional services reported 23 breaches, private education providers reported 21 breaches and the mining and manufacturing industry has made its first appearance with a reported 12 breaches.
* 85% of data breaches involved individual’s contact details, 47% involved financial details, 36% involved identity details, 27% involved health details, 18% involved tax file numbers, and 9% involved other types of personal information.
* The sources of breach varied, with 64% of data breaches due to malicious or criminal attack, 33% due to human error, and 3% due to system faults.
* The majority of cyber incidents were linked to the compromise of credentials through phishing (49 notifications), by unknown methods (28 notifications), or by brute force attack (9 notifications).
Government and enterprise need to be looking at best practice in security for information that is private and confidential. If companies are not encrypting sensitive information that is stored and information that is shared then they have a long way to go to become cyber resilient.