80,000 South Australian Government Workers Struck by Ransomware Attack


Up to 80,000 South Australian (SA) civil servants, including the Prime Minister, may have had their personal information stolen after a massive ransomware cyberattack targeting the government’s payroll system.

South Australian Treasurer Rob Lucas Confirmed on Friday afternoon He was informed by Frontier Software on Wednesday night that he was the victim of a ransomware attack and that “important personal information of SA civil servants” had been stolen.

“We were advised that records of at least 38,000 employees were accessed and up to 80,000 employees could be accessed,” Lucas said.

The data included information about name, date of birth, tax file number, home address, bank account details, start date of employment, salary period, compensation, and other salary-related information.

SA politicians, including Prime Minister Stephen Marshall, were allegedly one of the victims.

“From the highest to the lowest, and in the meantime, all of us can be affected,” Lucas points out, adding that the Ministry of Education, which does not use the frontier, is the only sector that has not been affected. I did.

The news came after 2001, when government payroll provider Frontier first confirmed that hackers had stolen state government data from the network the night before and published it on the dark web.

Payroll companies serve more than 1,500 government and non-governmental organizations and SA governments around the world. It wasn’t the first client to be hit by a cyberattack.

The treasurer added that the government was particularly concerned about the employee’s home address and bank details being accessed, as well as potential identity fraud, but there was no evidence that the information was used. Said.

“Even if that information isn’t used to directly access your bank account, you can still understand the concerns many employees have,” he said.

“We apologize to all South Australian Government officials affected.”

The attack targeted information held by Frontier Software, but did not reach the state’s internal system.

The incident was considered to be the largest information breach in South Australia’s history.

“I think what we see in Australia and around the world is that the scope of data breaches is even greater, so all the breaches we see are sadly so far. It’s likely to be bigger than what happened to you, “Lucas said.

However, he emphasized that people “should keep in mind that they are faced with examples of accessing very secure information on a daily basis.”

“We cannot guarantee 100% that everything they do is guaranteed to be inaccessible to hackers around the world.”

The government said it would work closely with Frontier to investigate the issue and partner with cybersecurity support service IDCARE to work with employees to develop response plans and provide personal support throughout the process.

Stephen Mulligan, a spokesman for the Ministry of Labor and Finance, criticized Marshall’s role in not being able to protect people’s data, and the government said “why the security breach that happened four weeks ago is now only revealed.” He said he needed to explain.

“This seems like the third serious cyber breach in a year,” says Mullighan. “What’s wrong with the government and is the data protected?

Employees are encouraged to take precautions such as contacting financial institutions, monitoring statements for fraudulent transactions, changing passwords, and adding two-factor authentication.

You should also pay attention to emails, text messages, and phone calls from people who request personal or account information, such as access to your device.

All public sector employees are sent an email notifying them of the level of compromised information and providing information on how to access help and support.

Nina Nguyen


Nina Nguyen is a Sydney-based Vietnamese reporter with a focus on Australian news. Contact her at [email protected].