Posted on September 7, 2020 at 12:31 PM
The Service NSW recently reported a cyberattack that compromised the personal information of 186,000 customers and the email accounts of 47 staff. The email accounts of the 47 staff were hacked while 186,000 customers saw their private information stolen.
The NSW then conducted an investigation, starting from April 2020 and lasting for four months. It then discovered that approximately 738GB of data, which comprises almost 4 million documents, got stolen from official email accounts.
The cybersecurity company then went further to say that there was no proof if the attacks compromised the NSW’s account data or service databases.
During the rigorous first process, about half a million documents that contain personal data were discovered. Further investigation revealed that the information discovered included handwritten documents, forms, notes, scans, and documented transaction applications.
The NSW had taken an internal look into their systems ever since the attacks were discovered. For the past four months, there have been several analyses that were conducted.
These analysis include a manual reassessment of numerous records to ensure that their customer care department can create a dependable notification process. Furthermore, in a move to ease the situation, the organization apologize for the gross loss of customer information to cybercriminals.
Damage control from Service NSW
Service NSW affirmed that it would begin damage control instantaneously to regain the trust of its customers. This means what they would do by informing customers that were affected in the attack. The customers will get personalized letters from the service NSW through registered post.
This letter will contain information regarding the stolen data and how the customer will get support. They will also get personal case managers who would assist in probably getting some of the stolen documents replaced.
Due to the number of customers that need to be notified, the agency has conducted an analysis and agreed that the customer notification process would be concluded by December 2020. Currently, the agency’s focus is to offer the most excellent support on the 47 affected staff and 186,000 customers.
NSW Police Commence investigations on the “criminal attack”
The criminals behind the recent attacks will not be spared either. The agency reported that its in-house Police team has since begun an investigation regarding the situation. It labeled the incident as a “criminal attack” while asserting that the perpetrators will be brought to book.
Another thing that is also being considered is the assessment being considered by the agency’s auditor-general. The review will take a closer look at the systems, practices, and defenses of the agency’s cybersecurity approach.
Furthermore, in a move to avoid future similar situations from occurring, the agency reported its new additional security protocols. One such security measure includes a partnership of the agency with IDCare. It will offer more “cyber support” to the agency.
The past week, it was reported that information regarding thousands of license-holders of drivers from NSW was breached. Further reports showed that more than 100,000 images had been inadvertently left open.
New South Wales cybersecurity gets government support
Following its efforts and reliability, the agency got rewarded by the NSW government back in June. It got AU$240 million from the government to enhance the capabilities of the government’s cybersecurity. This includes investments meant to protect existing systems. The investment involves the recruitment of new cybersecurity agents and deploying additional technologies.
The state government also reported its plans to embark on a cybersecurity strategy that can be implemented sector-wide. It has, therefore, called for experts in the industry to help shape this plan.
This security strategy is to support the agency further. It will ensure that they keep providing a trusted, secure, resilient, and trusted services, especially in a developing and ever-moving cyber environment. This strategy will generally act as a prevention against the loss of private information and hackers’ activities.