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Audio and video recordings of Victoria Courts breached by hackers

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Threat actors have hacked the court proceedings database and disrupted the audio-visual in-court technology network of the Victoria courts in Australia, including the Supreme Court, County Court, Magistrates’ Court, Children’s Court, and Coroners Court.

On Thursday, 21 December 2023, Court Services Victoria (CSV) was alerted to unauthorised access. The breach impacted video and audio recordings along with the transcription services. The court holds that no other systems or records, including the financial or employee data, have leaked or been accessed.

The breach spanned hearings held between 1 November and 21 December 2023, with the likelihood of some cases before November 1 also being affected. CSV has begun notifying court users whose privacy may have been compromised. The court services have also set up a dedicated contact centre to support and address concerns.

The court services maintain that only the audio and video recordings were breached while the other data is secure.

The affected systems were isolated after the attack, and the officials disbanded the network. New arrangements were put in place to secure the data.

The cyberattack prompted CSV to collaborate with cyber security experts from the Victorian Department of Government Services, law enforcement agencies, including Victoria’s Police’s cybercrime squad and other related authorities.

Despite the breach, the court will go on with the normal day-to-day functioning with minor changes in the arrangements.

“All courts have put in place plans so that they can continue to safely and securely hear matters. Some changes to hearing arrangements are in place while the affected network remains disabled. Information about any changes can be obtained from the relevant court,” said Lousie Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of Court Service Victoria.

As the investigation continues, the affected parties can access the communication channels set up by IDCARE, Australia’s national identity and cyber support community service, at CSVData@courts.vic.gov.au or call 03 9087 6116.

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Kumar Hemant

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: kumarhemant@pm.me

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