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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
With email being one of the most common forms of communication, it’s not surprising that inboxes these days accumulate thousands of emails that, perhaps, aren’t always electronically filed or deleted (not ours of course).
As the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has indicated in its most recent report on notifications received under the Notifiable Data Breach (NBD) scheme, email accounts are frequently being used for storage, and this raises inherent risk. Yes it’s convenient, but using email to send personal information, such as copies of passports, bank account details and credit card information, can very quickly lose its appeal. If the email account is accessed by a malicious actor through a phishing attack or a rogue employee, the end result can be exploitation of that information for criminal gain.Read More
We have our first large scale data breach of the decade. Toll, a transport and logistics network which delivers up to 95 million items globally every year, has temporarily shut down a number of its IT systems as a precautionary measure after suffering a cyber-security breach on Friday, according to an article by the SMH.
A spokesperson has indicated that Toll has cybersecurity experts working closely with their IT team on the breach, and is taking careful internal measures so that systems can be brought back up online in a “controlled and secured manner”. Additionally, Toll has initiated business continuity plans to minimise the disturbance brought on by the breach. While any official numbers of affected customers and the exact nature and extent of the breach have not yet been released by Toll, The Register has reported that the breach has reportedly affected customers in Australia, India and the Philippines.Read More
By Cameron Abbott and Karla Hodgson
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has released its Q2 statistics on notifications received under the Notifiable Data Breach (NDB) scheme. The 245 breach notifications in Q2 are on par with each other quarter since the scheme was introduced in July 2018 and while the majority of NDBs (62%) are attributed to malicious or criminal attacks, we noted with interest that a staggering 34% are due to human error – that is, mostly avoidable errors made by staff. A consistent theme of our blogs is reinforcing the message that employees are the front line of defence for organisations.
There are 3 key statistics we took away from these human error NDBs.Read More
We are living in an era of online shopping, where consumers are more willing to hand over personal information for goods and services, and are less suspicious of whom they are divulging their personal information to. As a result, online businesses are in possession of a vast amount of their customers’ personal information. The recent hack of Sneaker Platform Stock-X reminds us yet again of the importance of businesses maintaining comprehensive and up to date security processes, and in particular, the necessity of having an adequate data breach response plan in place.
Stock-X, a platform for the re-sale of sneakers and apparel, was recently hacked, exposing over six million users’ personal data, including their real name, username, password, shoe size and trading currency. According to a Report by TechCrunch, Stock-X’s initial response was to reset customer passwords, stating that it was due to system updates. A spokesperson for Stock-X later disclosed to TechCruch that Stock-X was alerted to “suspicious activity”. TechCrunch reports; however, an unnamed data breach seller had contacted it claiming more than 6.8 million records were stolen from Stock-X in May, and that the records had been put up for sale and sold on the dark web for $300.Read More
Following two key data incidents concerning how the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) handled data, the OAIC has successfully taken court action binding the banking heavyweight to “substantially improve its privacy practices”.
As a quick summary of the incidents, the first incident involved the loss of magnetic storage tapes (which are used to print account statements). These contained historical customer data including customer statements of up to 20 million bank customers. In 2016, the CBA was unable to confirm that the two magnetic tapes were securely disposed of after the scheduled destruction by a supplier.Read More
The Attorney-General’s Department has released for discussion, an exposure draft bill regarding mandatory reporting of serious data breaches. Notification requirements will apply to companies and information subject to the Privacy Act.
Under the proposal, a company would have up to 30 days after it is aware of a breach, or ought reasonably to be aware of a breach, to assess whether a data breach is a ‘serious data breach’. A serious data breach occurs if:
- there is unauthorised access or disclosure of information; and
- there is a real risk of serious harm to any of the individuals to whom the information relates.
When considering whether there is a real risk of serious harm to an individual the draft legislation lists a number of factors that should be considered including:
- the kind of information;
- whether the information is in a form that is intelligible to an ordinary person;
- whether the information is protected by security measures;
- the kinds of person who could obtain the information;
- the nature of the harm; and
- any mitigation steps taken by the company.
If the company determines that a serious data breach has occurred, it must notify the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and the affected individuals as soon as practicable. The draft legislation also gives the OAIC additional powers to direct companies to undertake notification.
The proposal has a number of differences from the previous attempts to legislate mandatory data breach reporting which were made in 2013 and 2014. Most notably, previously the trigger for notification involved a belief that there had been a data breach, the current draft requires a company to be aware, or when it ought reasonably to be aware, of a breach. Additional types of specific harm are included in the current draft, however, this is unlikely to have a major impact in practice.
Currently, data notification is only mandatory for unauthorised access to eHealth information under the My Health Records Act 2012. However, the OAIC operates a voluntary data breach notification scheme which also uses the real risk of serious harm notification threshold.
The exposure draft and accompanying discussion paper can be found here. Submissions are due by 4 March 2016.