Senior politicians fear Parliament House may have been hacked as a widespread IT outage raises concerns about cyber attacks.
The federal government has suspended access to emails in the Parliament House to combat a suspected cyber attack that started Saturday afternoon, news.com.au reports.
Government sources have claimed Australia’s parliamentary IT system is under attack by a ‘foreign actor’, raising fears that China is involved due to the soured relations between the two nations.
The federal government has blocked access to emails in the Parliament House to protect against a cyber attack that started Saturday afternoon
Government sources have claimed Australia’s parliamentary IT system is under attack by a ‘foreign actor’, raising fears that China is involved due to the soured relations between the two nations. Pictured: Chinese President Xi Jinping
“DPS is also investigating the cause of the disruption and the Australian Cyber Security Center is providing advice as part of the process,” said a DPS spokesperson.
The Department of Parliamentary Services sent an email to staff on Sunday saying the incident is under urgent investigation.
“An IT malfunction currently has consequences for various IT services, including e-mail, calendar and contacts on smartphones and tablets,” the e-mail said.
Employees were told that email, calendar events, and contacts already stored on their devices should “ remain accessible ” while support teams investigate.
The Department of Parliamentary Services sent an email to staff on Sunday saying the incident is under urgent investigation
Home Affairs spokesman Kristina Keneally said she would not speculate on the matter, but revealed that Labor will be briefed by the government.
It was also revealed that there was a potential messaging scam in progress that affected senior ministers including Chancellor of the Exchequer Simon Birmingham.
“The AFP is aware of a messaging scam currently targeting Commonwealth MPs and Australian High Office holders, presented as a request from a trusted colleague,” a statement read.
The scam originated via WhatsApp and has prompted message recipients to download the Telegram application for ‘further communication purposes’.
The AFP said the request is “not real” and could be used to obtain information from people’s phones.
Recipients are advised not to respond to the message or send two-factor authentication codes to the sender.
They are also urged to send a screenshot of the message to the AFP and keep the original message for later technical analysis and evidence from the AFP.
It was also revealed that a potential messaging scam was underway, affecting senior ministers including Treasury Secretary Simon Birmingham
It comes after Nine Network revealed it was the target of a cyber attack, disrupting live programming from Sydney.
The Australian broadcaster confirmed that there was a cyber attack on its systems after it failed to air its Weekend Today and Sunday Sport programs on Sunday morning.
In a note to staff, Nine’s director of people and culture, Vanessa Morley, told all employees across the country to work from home until further notice.
“Our IT teams work around the clock to fully restore our systems, which have mainly affected our broadcasting and corporate business units,” she wrote.
“Publication and radio systems remain operational.”
Weekend Today, host Richard Wilkins (center) announced on Twitter that the Nine Network was experiencing technical difficulties. It later emerged that the network had been hacked
Ms. Morley said office workers can expect to experience “disruption to the Nine IT network,” although emails do not appear to be affected.
Nine’s National Rugby League coverage, 6:00 pm news bulletins and Sunday night coverage including 60 Minutes and Married At First Sight continue as planned after the company issued “ several contingencies. ”
Earlier, the Australian media giant – the owner of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age newspapers – said it was responding to “technical issues.”
Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers described the situation as “serious.”
“These are very worrying reports,” he told reporters in Springwood, a Brisbane suburb.
“What we are hearing here is a serious and sophisticated targeted attack on a media organization.”
A Channel Nine employee shared footage of the control room error screens as the network had to shut down its weekend programs