Hackers hit ForceNet, a defense e-communications platform used by the Australian military, and tried to deploy ransomware, but authorities say no data was compromised.
With ransomware attacking so many private companies, it’s easy to forget that hackers sometimes hit official institutions and services as well. And, while a company might be inclined to pay hackers to restore its business, that won’t be true for an organization such as the military.
Hackers usually deploy ransomware to extort victims, but a monetary reward is unlikely, the only other purpose is to cause harm and steal data. Most of today’s ransomware attacks are preceded by data exfiltration, but Assistant Minister For Defence Matt Thistlethwaite said no data had been compromised.
“I want to stress that this isn’t an attack or a breach on defence (technology) systems and entities,” Thistlethwaite told ABC Radio, according to Reuters. “At this stage, there is no evidence that the data set has been breached, that’s the data that this company holds on behalf of defence.”
Furthermore, defense personnel were informed of the data breach and advised to change their passwords as soon as possible. On the other hand, the Australian Broadcasting Corp reported that hackers could have stolen private information such as soldiers’ birth dates and enlistment data.
This new attack against an institution in Australia comes on the heels of several other major security incidents, such as a data breach at Australian telecoms giant Optus and the hack of Medibank, one of the largest private health insurance providers in Australia.