Australia’s four major banks (including ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac Bank) have been hacked in recent days, resulting in the theft of about 4TB of data. Of these, National Australia Bank (NAB) was the only bank to confirm that its data had been compromised. It is reported that the hacker group ALPHV (also known as BlackCat) posted news online that it had stolen NAB’s data. However, a NAB spokesman said its own systems had not been affected and that the leaked data came from HWL Ebsworth, a law firm engaged by the bank to provide some of its legal services.
Three other banks also said they were working with HWL Ebsworth to determine what data was compromised and whether any customer data was at risk. The hack not only affected Australia’s four major banks, but also involved more than 40 government agencies and departments, including multiple cybersecurity agencies and authorities such as the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP). It can be seen that hacker attacks have become a concern.
According to Katherine Mansted, Director of Cyber Intelligence and Public Policy at CyberCX, such attacks on high-profile targets such as large organizations and governments fit ALPHV’s “big game hunting” threat model. She also noted that ALPHV was the first threat group to publish stolen data on the public internet rather than the dark web, in order to maximize the damage caused by exposing stolen data. It can be seen that hacker attacks have become increasingly targeted and professional.
The Australian government has been stepping up cyber protections in response to hacking attacks. The government recently appointed the country’s first cybersecurity coordinator as part of efforts to make Australia the safest country in the world. The newly appointed coordinator will be attached to the Ministry of the Interior and will be supported by the Ministry of the Interior’s National Cyber Security Office. His new role as cybersecurity coordinator will put him in charge of coordinating cyber responses across government agencies.
Prime Minister Antoine Albanese said the appointment was an “important part” of the government’s response to new challenges to cybersecurity and threat actors as technology evolved. He added: “The Coordinator, together with the Home Office’s National Cyber Security Office, will ensure we are well positioned to respond to the opportunities and challenges of the digital age.”
It can be seen that hacker attacks have become a common problem facing the world. Governments should strengthen cooperation to jointly tackle this problem. At the same time, enterprises and organizations should also strengthen their own network security precautions to ensure the privacy and security of customer and employee data. Only in this way can we better protect network security and maintain social stability.
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