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Transport for NSW Hacked for the Second Time in Less Than 18 Months


Another data breach has hit NSW Transport, less than a year after the Auditor-General published a report examining the department’s cyber security issues.

The incident comes less than 18 months after the agency confirmed it was one of several large organisations worldwide to fall victim Accellion data breach.

A cyber issue damaged the authorised inspection programme (AIS) online application in early April, according to Transport for NSW.

According to Transport for NSW, the incident saw an unauthorised third-party successfully access a “small number” of the application’s user accounts.

TfNSW stated that new security measures were implemented in the aftermath of the incident and that it is still monitoring the application.

The Authorised Inspection Scheme (AIS) allows examiners to inspect vehicles to maintain a minimum level of safety.

TfNSW is alerting affected examiners and offering solutions that help them in avoiding future consequences from the incident.

“We recognise that data privacy is paramount and deeply regret that customers may be affected by this attack,” Transport for NSW said.

What information was compromised?

The breach exposed a small number of the application’s user accounts.

TfNSW falling behind on cybersecurity

The state’s Auditor-General, Margaret Crawford, discovered at the end of last year that none of NSW’s main cluster agencies, including Transport, had implemented all Essential Eight controls, causing “significant concern.”

In a compliance report on the state’s cyber security capabilities, the auditor-general stated that the main aspects to increase cyber security governance, controls, and culture are not sufficiently robust or consistently applied.

A report in July last year from the NSW Auditor-General stated “TfNSW is not implementing cyber security training effectively across the cluster with only 7.2 per cent of staff having completed basic cyber security training.”

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.


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