There is a sharp rise in cyber attacks targeting businesses and organizations across Australia. The nature of these attacks ranges from ransomware and phishing scams to distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, with some estimates suggesting that the number of cyber incidents could be as high as one million per year.

The financial cost of these cyber attacks is immense, with businesses and organizations often paying extortionists or hackers to regain access to their data. Additionally, the loss of confidential information can have far-reaching consequences for individuals, including identity theft and loss of reputation.

Recent Australian Cyber Attack Incidents

The recent cyber attack incidents in Australia have been alarming. Here are the most controversial.

Medlab Pathology

The attack on Medlab Pathology resulted in the personal data of 223,000 clients being stolen by hackers. The data was available for download on the Dark Web and included PII (Personally Identifiable Information) such as full names, contact details, Social Security Numbers, financial information, and medical records.

It is believed that the threat actors gained access to these records by sending out malicious phishing messages with malware attached. The malware gave the hackers remote access, allowing them to exfiltrate the data from Medlab Pathology’s system. In addition to stealing personal information, the attackers may have caused significant damage by destroying or altering critical systems.

This incident highlights organizations’ need for robust cybersecurity protocols to protect their data and customers. Companies must monitor suspicious activities, update their security measures regularly, and train employees to recognize potentially dangerous phishing emails. Taking these steps can help prevent cyberattacks like this one from occurring in the future.


The breach of 10 million records at Optus, a telecommunications company, is serious and concerning. It was discovered that the attack was enabled by a misconfigured Application Programming Interface (API). This means an internal system was set up incorrectly, allowing malicious actors to access highly sensitive data without authorization.

Of the 10 million compromised records, one-third reportedly contain sensitive information such as bank account numbers, passport details, and dates of birth.


Vinomofo, an Australian online wine seller, recently upgraded its online platform using production data collected during tests. This was an essential step towards providing customers with a seamless experience, but it also exposed the company to potential risks.

Vinomofo informed its customers and members that a third party accessed their personal information without authorization during the previous month. The details leaked include names, gender, dates of birth, addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers.

The company is taking action to ensure the security of its customers. It is currently working with cyber security and forensic specialists from the private and public sectors to investigate the incident. It has assured customers that the risk is low. Vinomofo has also asked affected customers to ensure they change their passwords as a precautionary measure.

Vinomofo encourages anyone who may have been affected by the data breach to stay vigilant and report any suspicious activity to their bank or credit card provider. They also recommend keeping a close eye on your credit reports for any signs of unusual activity. Customers are urged to contact Vinomofo if they have further questions or concerns regarding the incident.

API attacks are becoming increasingly common, and Vinomofo now knows that it needs to take security seriously when developing software and APIs. The company is now dedicated to building secure systems from the ground up, ensuring that all code is written and tested with security in mind. This includes running regular scans for vulnerabilities and addressing any issues promptly.


Medibank is facing a worsening situation after news broke that more individuals were affected by the data breach than initially thought. It has been reported that the attacker managed to download over 200 GB of data, likely using fake or compromised user credentials.

This is concerning for Medibank customers, as it is not yet known how many individuals were affected. Unfortunately, it has been estimated that a data breach costs around $180 per record in 2021. Medibank is working to ensure its customers stay protected and will take all necessary steps to prevent similar breaches from occurring.

It is essential for users to monitor their accounts carefully and report any suspicious activity. Furthermore, customers should also consider changing their credentials to ensure that their information remains secure.

Medibank encourages its users to remain vigilant and take advantage of the abovementioned measures when protecting their data. The company is committed to securing customer data and will continue to update customers about the situation as it progresses.

CISO Recommendations

In light of the current wave of cyber attacks, it is clear that businesses and organizations in Australia must act now to protect themselves. Taking a proactive approach to cybersecurity and collaborating with others can ensure they are better protected against attack.

Australian security experts are urging businesses and organizations to take steps to protect themselves against these attacks. This includes implementing basic security measures such as using two-factor authentication, regularly updating software, and having effective incident response policies.

Additionally, organizations should be aware of the threats posed by their employees, as they can often unwittingly give hackers access to sensitive data.
Among the CISO recommendations to prevent cyber attacks from happening include the following:

Establish security policies and procedures

Develop comprehensive security policies and procedures to protect your organization from various cyber threats. Ensure that all users are aware of the policies and follow them accordingly, as well as regularly update these policies in line with changing technology trends.

Maintain strong passwords

Encourage users to create and maintain strong passwords for all accounts, with frequent password changes. Use two-factor authentication for added security.

Monitor user activity

Monitor user activity and use of privileged accounts to detect anomalies that could indicate a security breach or malicious intent.

Stay up to date on software

Keep your software and operating systems up to date to take advantage of the latest security patches. This will help protect against known cyber threats.

Train staff on security policies

Make sure your employees are aware of the company’s security policies and procedures, as well as their responsibilities when it comes to protecting data and systems. Regular training can help ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to security.

Ultimately, businesses and organizations must take a proactive approach to cybersecurity. Investing in the right security measures can help protect against cyber attacks and minimize the damage they cause.

In addition to increased vigilance, it is also essential that businesses and organizations work with their peers and government agencies to share information about potential threats and vulnerabilities. By doing this, they protect not only their interests but also those of the wider community.



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