Law Firms’ Worst Fears of Cyber Criminal Attacks Sees Australian Firm’s Data Released

Law Firms' Worst Fears of Cyber Criminal Attacks Sees Australian Firm's Data Released

Law Firm Dark Web Nightmare

Australian law firm HWL Ebsworth is currently undergoing an investigation into allegations that hackers have released data stolen from the company on the dark web. The firm serves clients at both commercial and government levels across all states and territories, became aware of the data breach on Friday.

According to a spokesperson from the firm, “Cyber criminals who gained unauthorized access to our systems are now claiming to have published approximately one third of the total data they allege to have exfiltrated from our firm.” The company is actively investigating this claim and is working to identify the extent of the published data.

In May, the Australian Financial Review reported that hackers had asserted possession of client information and employee data from HWL Ebsworth. The Tasmanian government confirmed that it had been notified by the federal government regarding an “illegal release” of HWL Ebsworth data on the dark web.

The Minister for Science and Technology, Madeleine Ogilvie, stated that a coordinated national effort was underway to investigate the impact of the incident.

She expressed concern over the matter and emphasized close collaboration with the Australian government to determine whether any Tasmanian information had been affected. Ogilvie acknowledged that due to the substantial volume of data involved, the evaluation process might be time-consuming but assured the Tasmanian community of prompt action and transparent updates.

HWL Ebsworth has publicly declared its refusal to comply with the hackers’ ransom demand.

A spokesperson for the firm explained, “We hold our ethical and moral obligations to the community in high regard. We believe it is our civic duty to neither endorse nor support criminal activities involving extortion and the unauthorized publication of others’ data.

Protecting the privacy and security of our clients’ and employees’ data remains our top priority. We recognize the potential impact of this incident and are maintaining close communication with our clients.”

The law firm is actively collaborating with the Australian Cyber Security Centre, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, and relevant government agencies and law enforcement entities. A spokesperson for Cyber Security Minister Clare O’Neil was unable to provide immediate comment on the matter.

Tasmania’s government faced a separate data breach earlier this year when 16,000 documents from the state education department were released on the dark web following a hack on a third-party file transfer service.

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