Victoria’s court system has been hit by a cyber attack, with hackers accessing weeks worth of recorded hearings.
Court Services Victoria was first made aware of the infiltration on December 21 but it’s believed the audio visual technology network was first compromised on November 1.
Video and audio recordings of some hearings in the Supreme, County, Magistrates and Coroners courts were accessed over the seven-week period, a CSV spokeswoman confirmed on Tuesday.
An October recording from the Children’s Court was also likely affected, while no hearings from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal were compromised.
Only recordings stored on the network were caught up in the cyber attack, the spokeswoman said.
“No other court systems or records, including employee or financial data, were accessed,” the statement read.
The affected network was isolated and disabled to ensure operations could continue across the courts, the CSV spokeswoman said.
The court was working with cyber security experts in the government services department as well as other authorities.
Witnesses and other participants in hearings where recordings may have been accessed will be notified, while a dedicated support contact centre has been set up.
“We understand this will be unsettling for those who have been part of a hearing,” the CSV spokeswoman said.
“We recognise and apologise for the distress that this may cause people.”
Arrangements have been made so hearings can continue while CSV re-establishes the affected network, the spokeswoman said.
Security across the broader court and tribunal-wide technology system will be strengthened as part of the restoration work.
Acting Victorian Premier Ben Carroll said it was important for government agencies to remain vigilant in the face of a growing number of cyber attacks.
“If anyone has any evidence, they are encouraged to come forward,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
“But I know, from my advice this morning, that this has been a site and a hack that has been well contained.”
RECORDINGS COMPROMISED BETWEEN NOVEMBER 1 AND DECEMBER 21:
* Supreme Court: some hearings in the Court of Appeal, criminal division, practice court and two regional hearings
* County Court: all criminal and civil hearings recorded on the network
* Magistrates Court: some committal hearings
* Children’s Court: a recording of one hearing in October which may have remained on the network
* Coroners Court: all hearings
* Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal: no hearings
(Australian Associated Press)