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Australian Department of Defense Hit by Cyberattack

It is afraid that personal information of personnel, like DoB, may have been breached after a cyberattack.

Department of Defense Suspects Cyberattack

The Department of Defence is afraid that the personal information of personnel, like DoB, may have been breached after a communications platform used by the military suffered a ransomware attack. 

Hackers attacked the ForceNet service, which is operated by an external information and communications technology (ICT) provider. 

The organisation in the beginning told the Defense Department no data of former or current personnel was breached.

Defense says personal info not stolen 

However, the Department of Defense believes that personal details like the date of enlisting and DoB may have been stolen, despite initial hints being contrary to what the external provider is saying. 

In a message notification to the staff, the defence chief and secretary said the issue is being taken "very seriously."

There has been a series of cyberattacks in recent times, from health insurance companies to telecommunications.

Cyberattacks on rise in recent time

Medibank earlier this week confirmed a criminal organization behind a cyber attack on its company had access to the data of around 4 million customers, some of these consist of health claims. 

In September, Optus said a cyberattack had leaked the data of around 10 Million Australian users, with a considerable amount of information stolen from around 2.8 million people.

Minister for Defense Personnel Matt Keogh ForceNet kept upto 40,000 records, saying "I think all Australians, and rightly the Australian government, is quite concerned about this sort of cyber activity that's occurring, people seeking through nefarious means to get access to others' personal data."

ForceNet involved, however IT department safe

In the email to the staff, the Defense Department was confident that the hack of ForceNet was not targeted at the IT systems of the department. 

It said "we are taking this matter very seriously and working with the provider to determine the extent of the attack and if the data of current and former APS [Australian public service] staff and ADF personnel has been impacted. If you had a ForceNet account in 2018, we urge you to be vigilant but not alarmed."

Earlier talks with the service provider hint that there is no substantial proof that data of former and current ADF Personnel and APS staff personnel have been breached. 

It said, "we are nevertheless examining the contents of the 2018 ForceNet dataset and what personal information it contains."

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Cyber Attacks