Cyber Security breach at Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) reported a cyber security breach related to its use of a file sharing software.

The Australian regulator in a notification said: “This incident is related to Accellion software used by ASIC to transfer files and attachments. It involved unauthorised access to a server which contained documents associated with recent Australian credit licence applications.”

While the investigation is ongoing, it appears that there is “some risk” that some limited information may have been viewed by the threat actor. At this time ASIC has not seen evidence that any Australian credit licence application forms or any attachments were opened or downloaded, it added. ASIC’s IT team and cyber security advisers engaged by ASIC are undertaking a detailed forensic investigation.

Interestingly the Accellion file sharing software was recently at the centre of a similar incident at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. As a precaution, and to protect information and systems, ASIC has disabled access to the affected server. The regulator is working on alternative arrangements for submitting credit application attachments which will be implemented shortly. No other ASIC technology infrastructure has been impacted or breached, it pointed out.

Meanwhile, relevant agencies and those impacted have been notified, it said.

Recently, the SUNBURST malware attacks against SolarWinds have heightened companies’ concerns about the risk to their digital environments. Malware installed during software updates in March 2020 had allowed advanced attackers to gain unauthorized access to files that may include customer data and intellectual property.

Matt Gyde, President and CEO, Security Division at NTT Limited had recently said that threat actors have exploited disruption during the COVID-19 crisis to launch an accelerated wave of cyberattacks around the world. The SolarWinds incidents were orchestrated by sophisticated operators and exploit the broad distribution of commonly-used software packages, he said.