Victorians’ data at risk after cyberattack on tech company PNORS Technology Group
Victoria residents’ data could be exposed after a tech company that works with some state government departments was targeted in a cyberattack.
PNORS Technology Group, which owns five companies, confirmed that an attack was detected on two of its companies – Datatime Services and Netway Networks – on November 3.
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Datatime Services deals with digital document management, while Netway Networks specializes in IT service management for businesses.
“The relevant PNORS Technology Group businesses provide document and data capture, digital conversion and managed IT support for a number of external clients, including government departments,” said the PNORS Managing Director. , Paul Gallo, in a press release.
“In the early hours of Saturday morning, the criminals behind the cyberattack provided the company, in a private communication, with a sample of what is believed to be stolen data.”
A spokesman for the Victorian Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPC) said the government was aware of the incident.
“We continue to provide support to PNORS Technology Group to determine the extent of the information breach and to prevent further incidents,” the spokesperson said.
As soon as the cyberattack was identified, PNORS notified affected customers, contacted state and federal police, and engaged external cybersecurity experts, the technology company said.
The Office of Australian Information Commissioner has also been notified.
Investigation of a cyberattack
Gallo said the extent of the breach is still under investigation.
“We are working closely with all authorities to assess how many of our customers have been affected and the nature of the data that has been stolen,” he said.
“Advice from our independent security experts has confirmed that nothing has been made public at this stage.
“When we were made aware of the cyberattack, we immediately shut down and isolated all of our internal systems and took additional steps to secure our network and data, while suspending all data processing.”
The DPC spokesman said the Victorian Government Cyber Incident Response Service had been informed.
“Protecting Victorian data and systems is our top priority,” the spokesperson said.
“If it is determined that Victorian Government data has been exposed as a result of this breach, departments will notify those affected and provide advice on steps they can take to minimize any risk.”
The potential exposure is the latest in a string of cyberattacks against Australian businesses.
Optus, Medibank, Australian Clinical Labs, EnergyAustralia, Telstra and MyDeal have all suffered recent breaches.
While it’s clear there’s been a sudden increase in the scale and number of attacks, figuring out why was a guessing game, said Professor Sanjay Jha, chief scientist at the Cybersecurity Institute. from UNSW (IFCYBER), to 7NEWS.com.au last month.
Jha said there might be insinuations that foreign actors were active, but there was no evidence to suggest that.
Instead, he said, it was possible the “bad guys” were seeing Australia as an “easy target” following the major cyberattack on Optus, when the personal information of around 10 million customers have been compromised.
“(Hackers) may have started exploring other companies or they may have stolen credentials and now they probably have (an) easier job attacking some of the not so secure services at different places,” Jha said.