Data hacking news from Australia


Australian banking corporation Westpac has discovered that a cyber attack has exposed details of more than 98,000 of its customers. And authorities report that the breach occurred when cyber crooks infiltrated into the bank’s PayID feature.

PayID is a feature which allows searching a registered account in the bank by typing in a phone number. And as soon as the account is detected, it also allows the display of owners name and his address details along with his identification info.

7News which firstly reported this info to the world says that no personal details were found to be accessed or transferred to other servers.

An investigation launched by the Sydney based Banking Corporation found that seven fraudulently generated accounts paved the way for a series of randomly generated numbers-eventually coinciding with the registered phone numbers of the app.

Note 1- The incident reportedly took place on May 22, 2019, when the IT staff identified that high volume of over 600,000 NPPA PayID Lookups was made from 7 fraudulent accounts. A prima facie conducted by the security analysts later revealed that accounts of more than 98,000 of lookups returned short name and physical addresses to the hackers.

Coming to other news related to cyber attack, the Australian National University (ANU) has identified recently that data related to thousands of graduates, students and staff was leaked during a massive cyber attack.

The nation’s most prestigious educational institute has disclosed that several academic records including bank details, passport numbers, phone numbers, date of births and addresses of several individuals connected to the University were compromised in the massive cyber attack.

Brian Schmidt, the Vice Chancellor of ANU confirmed the incident and said that records since 19 years were breached in the incident by sophisticated hackers.

Schmidt said that the data breach was identified two weeks ago and there is no evidence that the research work was stolen in the incident.

Australian law enforcement agencies and the educational institute’s staff are working on closely to find the perpetrators.

However, a source from the ANU said that tax file numbers, payroll data and bank account details were also compromised.

Data related to police checks, workers compensation, medical records of staff and students, travel info, credit card info, vehicle registration numbers and performance records are reported to have remained untouched.

Note 2- In July’18 ANU reported that a hackers group hailing from China has accessed their database to access vital info. But the details of accessed info were never disclosed to the world thereafter.

Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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