Hackers have targeted a communications platform used by Australian military and defense personnel with a ransomware attack, authorities said Monday. Recently, Australia has been experiencing an increase in the number of cyber attacks.
The ForceNet service, one of the external providers the defense department contracts to manage one of its sites, has been attacked, but so far no data has been compromised, Deputy Defense Secretary Matt Thistlethwaite said.
“I want to emphasize that this is not an attack or breach of defense (technological) systems and entities. At this stage there is no evidence that the data set has been breached, it is the data that this company holds on behalf of defence,” Thistlethwaite explained to ABC Radio.
The Australian Army’s communications platform has been attacked
However, some private information such as dates of birth and enlistment details of military personnel may have been stolen, the Australian Broadcasting Corp reported, citing a source involved in the investigation.
Thistlethwaite announced that the government was taking the incident “very seriously” and that all defense personnel had been notified, suggesting password changes.
A spokesman for the Department of Defense said for Reuters that experts examine the contents of the affected dataset.
Multiple entities were affected
Attacks of this type involve encrypting victims’ data and offering a password in exchange for payment of cryptocurrency compensation.