More than 7,000 organizations’ email systems hacked, Australia issues “advanced alert”

Australia issues ‘advanced alert’ after more than 7,000 organisations’ email systems hacked

Australian Assistant Defence Minister Andrew Hastie warned on Wednesday that more than 7,000 email systems in the country had been hacked, including those of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and called on the agencies concerned to take immediate remedial measures to fix vulnerable system vulnerabilities and, if necessary, to disconnect from the Internet. (By Derek Fong)

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), part of the Australian Communications Authority, issued an “advanced alert” on Tuesday, saying it was dealing with the incident as a result of a large number of hacking attacks against Australian agencies, some of which had been compromised. The center also warned that there are still many Australian organizations that have not installed patches, making them more vulnerable to Hackers.

The Australian Financial Review reports that more than 7,000 Australian organisations are customers of Microsoft’s Exchange email system, including the Australian government and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, and that within 24 hours of Microsoft issuing the patch, some organisations had already installed it.

Microsoft recently announced that its email system, Exchange, had been hacked, affecting tens of thousands of businesses and organizations worldwide, presumably by the China-backed group Hafnium.

Brian Krebs, a cybersecurity researcher, cited anonymous sources as saying that at least 30,000 organizations across the U.S. had been hacked by the Chinese hacker group in a weblog published on Friday. Microsoft believes the cyberattacks have been underway for months.