NSW Department of Education struck by cyber attack

The state department has taken its systems offline as a precaution as it readies for the start of Term 3 next week.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor
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The New South Wales Department of Education has on Thursday revealed it fell victim to a cybersecurity attack.

In a statement, the department said a number of its internal systems were deactivated on Wednesday as a precaution.

"The timing of this creates considerable challenges for staff as we prepare for the start of Term 3," NSW Education Secretary Georgina Harrisson said. "Thankfully, our teams have been able to isolate the issues and we are working to reactivate services as soon as possible."

Harrisson said the department's priority would be the safety and security of its student and staff data, which she explained was why the precautionary decision was made to take some systems offline as it investigates further.

Department of Education and Cyber Security NSW teams are working to ensure normal access is restored in time for the start of Term 3, the statement continued.

Most of NSW is currently in week two of a three-week lockdown in response to the COVID-19 outbreak affecting the state.

"I am confident we will have the issue resolved soon and want to reassure teachers and parents that there will be no impact on students learning from home next week," Harrisson said.

"Whilst we are confident all systems will be back online before day 1, Term 3, we are making information to support home learning available on our public website so that preparations for the start of term can continue."

Education said it has been working closely with Cyber Security NSW to resolve the issue, and that the matter has been referred to the NSW Police and federal agencies.

The department said it was inappropriate to make any further comment as the matter is under investigation.

Need to disclose a breach? Read this: Notifiable Data Breaches scheme: Getting ready to disclose a data breach in Australia


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