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Hackers Leak 16,000 Australian State Documents on Dark Web

Hackers have released 16,000 Tasmanian education department documents on the dark web including school children’s personal information, the state government has confirmed.

Science and Technology Minister Madeleine Ogilvie said thousands of financial statements and invoices containing names and addresses of school students and their parents had been released after third-party file transfer service GoAnywhere MFT was hacked.

It is understood the information was released on the dark web by a Russian-linked hacker group called Cl0p.

“At this point in time, I’m advised that there are approximately 16,000 documents that have been released,” Ogilvie told reporters in Hobart on April 7.

“This data has been accessed through a third party file transfer service, and as I have said previously there is no evidence that Tasmanian government IT systems have been breached.

“The information released includes financial invoices and statements, including information relating to student assistance applications. This may include names and addresses and this is an evolving situation.”

The state government has set up a helpline for Tasmanians who are concerned their data has been compromised. 

“We are managing it as a serious incident response, and our response will continue to be proportionate to the risk,” Ogilvie said.

“Emergency management arrangements have been activated. We fully understand how concerning this is for all Tasmanians.”

Ogilvie said the hackers had not made any ransom demands, but advice from the federal government was not to pay a ransom if it was offered.

Earlier on April 7, the state opposition called for Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff to step in and address the escalating situation.

Labor leader Rebecca White said she had written to the premier requesting an urgent briefing after school children’s data was found posted to the dark web.

“Students and their parents are rightly concerned, and it is vital the premier starts to show the leadership that such a serious situation demands,” White said.

“Jeremy Rockliff needs to tell Tasmanians what exactly has occurred, what his government is going to do to manage this extremely concerning data breach, what support is available to families who fear they have been affected, and how that support can be accessed.”

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