The New South Wales Department of Education announced that it had fallen victim to a cybersecurity attack today. The state department, after disconnecting some of its systems in response to the hacking attempt, is now rallying its forces to reconnect in time early in the term.
The timing of the attacks could not have been worse, as NSW Education Secretary Georgina Harrisson said in a statement, “it creates considerable challenges for staff as we prepare for the start of the third quarter” (via ZDNet). The hope is that working with Cyber Security NSW means that normal access should be resumed quickly, before everything starts backing up.
The department's initial reaction to isolating the problems appears to have been a success, but such attacks are likely to grow in number over the years. As our world becomes more and more dependent on technology and the web, cybercrime is becoming more sophisticated and determined by the day to day. So far it is not known what kind of data they were looking for or how much they have fallen into the hands of the attackers.
Harrison points out that, of course, the security of student and staff data is a priority. As such, they are looking for a quick fix and the police and federal agencies have been notified.
It’s a sad day when hackers target the most vulnerable among us and another good reason to make sure you’re up to date on your cybersecurity knowledge. I mean, for God’s sake, think of children.