Australian defence contractor ForceNet is the latest target of cybercriminals after being hit by a ransomware attack. While ForceNet maintains that there is no evidence that the data of the current or former personnel’ was compromised, the incident is being investigated.
ForceNet is a defence e-communication platform that sends messages between military personnel and their families. The Department of Defence speculates that military personnel’s personal data, including birth dates, may have been impacted. However, a spokeswoman for Defence Minister Richard Marles spoke to NCA NewsWire and said that no personal data had been compromised.
ForceNet holds up to 40,000 records, said the Minister for Defence Personnel Matt Keogh, as reported by ABC news. He maintained that all Australians were rightly concerned about the cyber activities involving cybercriminals stealing user data using illegal means.
The Assistant Minister for Defence Matt Thistlethwaite spoke with ABC and confirmed that there was no evidence of a dataset being breached. In an email sent to the staff, it was said that the cyber-attack on the communication service of the defence department was being taken very seriously, with suggestions of changing passwords and moving to two-factor authentication. However, their main aim remains to provide support to the ADF personnel.
The Australian defence force has notified the members about the incident and asked them to change their passwords to prevent data theft. They were also urged to opt for two-factor authentication, among other measures to maintain digital safety.
Recent cyber-attacks witnessed by Australia.
Australia has been targeted by cybercriminals lately. Optus, the Australian telecommunications company, suffered a data breach earlier this September, which impacted over 9 million users. This incident led the federal government to propose extra steps to enhance its cybersecurity infrastructure. The data breach impacted the dates of birth, phone numbers, email addresses, driver’s licenses, and passport numbers of users.
In October, Australian private health insurance company Medibank also suffered a major cyberattack that impacted 4 million users as their personal health information was exposed.