NSW government data centre power outage downs health and state customer services

A data centre in Sydney's west rendered most health services and the state's customer service arm Service NSW useless for most of Tuesday.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

health.nsw.gov.au website on Tuesday

Screenshot: Asha Barbaschow/ZDNet

The New South Wales government on Tuesday morning experienced a power outage at one of its data centres in Silverwater, west of Sydney.

The outage was experienced at 4am AEST and has resulted in many state health and customer service functions reverting to manual processes.

A spokesperson for the NSW Department of Customer Service told ZDNet the outage impacted a number of government systems across the state, in particular, NSW Health and Service NSW.

There were reports of a number of issues with NSW Health systems, including the state's electronic medical record, which resulted in staff reverting to manual processes.

"NSW Health has put local business continuity processes in place," the spokesperson said. "No patient data is affected by the outage and patient safety is unaffected while systems are rebooted."

The spokesperson said Service NSW customers should expect some delays for a number of services.

"Technical staff have been working to urgently bring systems back online and are investigating the cause," they added.

"It is not believed to be a cybersecurity incident."

In April, Service NSW fell victim to a phishing attack. The email accounts of 47 Service NSW Staff members were illegally accessed, with the emails containing customer information.

Offering further detail, a spokesperson for Service NSW last week told ZDNet that an investigation into the matter was still ongoing.

"The analysis into the attack on Service NSW staff email accounts is ongoing and the specialist teams are working through complexities including ensuring the data remains secure during the review," they said.

The outage follows a warning from Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday that Australia is currently facing state-based cyber attacks across all levels of government, as well as in the private sector.


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