Thousands of employees who worked for Government agencies in South Australia had their personal details stolen through a large-scale ransomware cyber-attack. Data stolen included names, addresses, tax file numbers and banking details.
Frontier Payroll Service
It has been estimated that up to 80,000 employees have been involved, via Frontier Software, an external payroll service provider.
The data included important and confidential information, including employee banking details, renumeration and superannuation information.
Frontier has provided payroll services to the Australian Government since 2001, but the information from this hack was published on the dark web. It has been noted that both the Treasurer and the Premier have been victims of this malicious attack.
Mitigating the risk of fraudulent activity
Employees have been advised by cybersecurity experts, who have given recommendations to lower their chances of this cyber theft having an impact on them. The advice given includes:
- Contact your financial institution and change your account details, monitoring your bank statements for any suspicious or unknown statements or transactions
- Consider extra security precautions such as setting up 2FA (two-factor authentication), and changing your password to something more complicated that you have not used previously
- Always stay alert to phishing scams and look out for signs that something is fraudulent
Actions taken by the Government
The Government is working together with Frontier to determine a more accurate estimation of the employees that have been affected, and ways that they can mitigate this attack. The Government is also working with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to add additional security measures to all affected tax file numbers. They are simultaneously working with Services Australia to implement additional security measures for employees.
Contact Agilient for more information on how to keep your business secure, and how best to avoid cyber theft.
Author: Mahdi Kobeissi, Cyber Security Consultant