Australian business affected by global cyberattack, says Federal Government

Australia seems to have come away relatively unscathed from the global cyber attack that took place over the weekend, with the Federal Government confirming that only one private-sector business has been affected with two more potentially impacted.

Speaking to Sky News on Sunday evening, Dan Tehan, the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security, said, “There has been one incident of the ransomware hitting a business here in Australia and there could be two other incidents where it has occurred, although we are trying to confirm that. What I can say though [is] we’re not talking about a government organisation or a hospital or anything like that.”

Tehan added that the affected business is working with the Australian Cyber Security Centre to fix the issue. He also warned that this attack should be “a wake-up call” for public and private sector department heads to upgrade their systems to fight the latest threats.

“When you go into work ­tomorrow to make sure your systems have been updated,” he added during Sunday’s interview, “make sure your chief information officer is right on top of this.”

Held for ransom

WannaCry is believed to have been made using tools developed by the US National Security Agency and leaked online. It affects Microsoft machines running older versions of Windows, holding users’ files for ransom.

According to Europol, it affected 200,000 victims across 150 countries, with the threat first spotted by the NHS in the UK.

A self-taught British computer technician brought the attack to a halt by registering the domain the virus was trying to link to and, in the meantime, Microsoft released a patch to fix the issues relating to WannaCry.

The Federal Government, however, has warned that the storm has not passed as newer versions of the bug could be spread and Australians are being urged to upgrade their Windows machines and back up their data.

Sharmishta Sarkar
Managing Editor (APAC)

While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, Sharmishta's main priority is being TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor, looking after the day-to-day functioning of the Australian, New Zealand and Singapore editions of the site, steering everything from news and reviews to ecommerce content like deals and coupon codes. While she loves reviewing cameras and lenses when she can, she's also an avid reader and has become quite the expert on ereaders and E Ink writing tablets, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about these underrated devices. Other than her duties at TechRadar, she's also the Managing Editor of the Australian edition of Digital Camera World, and writes for Tom's Guide and T3.