Close this search box.

Defence IT contractor hit by ransomware attack


Hackers have targeted a third-party IT supplier, ForceNet, used by military personnel and Defence Department employees 

ForceNet allows defence force members, their families and defence department staff to communicate with each other. 

“I want to stress that this isn’t an attack or a breach on defence (technology) systems and entities,” Assistant Minister for Defence Matt Thistlethwaite said. “At this stage, there is no evidence the data set has been breached – that’s the data that this company holds on behalf of defence.” 

ABC reported that some personal information, including birth dates and enlistment details, may have been stolen, citing an unidentified source. Additionally, the dataset caught up in the hack included approximately 40,000 details of Defence and Australian Public Service (APS) personnel, dating back to 2018. 

The Department of Defence is examining the impacted data sets for personal information, according to a spokesperson. 

Defence personnel have been notified, with suggestions to change their passwords and implement multi-factor authentication, and the incident is being taken “very seriously” by the government, Thistlethwaite said. 

“We just want to make sure that all Defence staff and personnel remain vigilant, and we’re working with that external contractor now to make sure we get the best picture of what has occurred so that they’ve got the best support to ensure the security of their systems as well.” 

Ahmed Khanji

Ahmed Khanji

Ahmed Khanji is the CEO of Gridware, a leading cybersecurity consultancy based in Sydney, Australia. An emerging thought leader in cybersecurity, Ahmed is an Adjunct Professor at Western Sydney University and regularly contributes to cybersecurity conversations in Australia. As well as his extensive background as a security advisor to large Australian Enterprises, he is a regular keynote speaker and guest lecturer on offensive cybersecurity topics and blockchain.


Sydney Offices
Level 12, Suite 6
189 Kent Street
Sydney NSW 2000
1300 211 235

Melbourne Offices
Level 13, 114 William Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
1300 211 235

Perth Offices
Level 32, 152 St Georges Terrace
Perth WA 6000
1300 211 235


Learn more about the team at the forefront of the Australian Cyber Security scene.

About Us →

Meet the Team →

Partnerships →

Learn more about the team at the forefront of the Australian Cyber Security scene.

Career Opportunities →

Internships →

Media appearances and contributions by Gridware and our staff.

See More →



Whether you need us to take care of security for you, respond to incidents, or provide consulting advice, we help you stay protected.

View all services →

Web App Pen. Test Calculator →

Network Pen. Test Calculator →

Governance & Audit

Legal and regulatory protection

Penetration Testing

Uncover system vulnerabilities

Remote Working & Phishing

Fortify your defenses

Cyber Security Strategy

Adaptation to evolving threats

Cloud & Infrastructure

Secure cloud computing solutions

Gridware 360

End-to-end security suite

Gridware Managed Services

Comprehensive & proactive security

Gridware CloudControl

Harness the benefits of cloud technology

Gridware Incident Response 24/7

Swift, expert-led incident resolution



A collection of our published insights, whitepapers, customer success stories and more.

Customer success stories from real Gridware customers. Find out how we have helped others stay on top of their Cyber Security.

Read More →