The word ‘tax fraud’ was trending on Twitter yesterday after it was revealed that one of Australia’s biggest media organisations, the ABC, was set to be hacked.
In a statement to news.com.au, the company said the hack was perpetrated by an external actor who used “malicious and sophisticated methods” to steal information from the ABC’s systems.
The ABC said it had not been hacked and no employees or contractors were at risk.
“We are currently assessing the attack, and will provide further updates as we get more information,” it said.
The attack is believed to have been launched in late October and the stolen data was not revealed publicly until this week.ABC News has also been told by sources that some of the data stolen from the network was published by ABC News Australia, a news organisation owned by News Corp.
The news agency was hit by cyber-attack in April that resulted in a major hack of the company’s IT infrastructure.
News Corp has said the ABC had no knowledge of the hack until it was reported by news.co.nz in early May.
“The ABC is aware of a cyber-crime incident that has compromised data from the Australian news organisation News Corp Australia, and we have not been informed of the scope of the incident,” the corporation said in a statement.
The network has since said it was “working to protect our systems”.
The ABC’s director of corporate affairs, Paul McGowan, said in an email to News Corp: “It’s very disappointing that an organisation which has stood up for the values of truth and fairness and for freedom of the press should be targeted by a criminal actor.”
The ABC has also published details of a massive hack that has left the organisation’s systems vulnerable to attacks.
NewsCorp said it “strongly condemned” the attack.
“News Corp Australia has been breached and the ABC has been made aware of the breach,” the company told news.org.au.
“We are working to protect its systems, and the network will be fully protected in the coming days.”
The hack is believed not to have involved anyone at the ABC who had previously been in the newsroom.