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Hackers breach court recordings database in Australia

Written by Wed 3 Jan 2024

Hackers have accessed the court recordings database in Victoria, Australia. The breach has caused disruptions to the audio-visual in-court technology network, affecting both recordings and transcription services.

On 21 December 2023, Court Services Victoria (CSV) was alerted to a cybersecurity breach impacting courts and tribunals in Australia.  

Recordings of some hearings in Victoria’s courts between 1 November and 21 December 2023 may have been accessed. Some hearings before 1 November could also be affected. No other court systems or records, including employee or financial data, were accessed. 

“CSV took immediate action to isolate and disable the affected network and to put in place arrangements to ensure continued operations across the courts. As a result, hearings in January will be proceeding,” said Louise Anderson, Chief Executive Officer at CSV.

Anderson said maintaining security for court users is CSV’s highest priority. She apologised for the distress caused to those in Australia affected by the court database breach.

“Our current efforts are focused on ensuring our systems are safe and making sure we notify people in hearings where recordings may have been accessed … We understand this will be unsettling for those who have been part of a hearing,” said Anderson.

CSV is working closely with cybersecurity experts in the Victorian Department of Government Services. CSV also collaborated with justice system agencies like Victoria Police, Victoria Legal Aid, and the Office of Public Prosecutions on areas where there may be breaches to particularly sensitive material.

The effort to restore systems includes work to strengthen security across the broader court and tribunal-wide technology environment. CSV did not reveal whether it received any ransomware demands.

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Written by Wed 3 Jan 2024

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