Standing up for Canberra

Estimates Reveal Immigration Department at Risk of Cyber Attack


In Senate Estimate hearings, Department of Immigration and Border Protection officials have revealed the department is regularly a target for cyber-attacks, as recently as last week, and confirmed it is not cyber-resilient.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection collects and stores the personal details, biometrics including photos, and passport data of the millions of Australian and overseas travellers who pass through our borders each year.

In responding to Labor’s questioning about the latest scathing report by the National Audit Office Cybersecurity Follow-up Audit,  department officials admitted to failing to comply with the Top Four mitigation strategies.

Deputy Secretary Intelligence and Capability Group: I don’t disagree with the Auditor-General’s findings technically. Technically they are correct. We are not compliant.

Senator Murray Watt: Your Department was found not to be cyber-resilient.

Deputy Secretary Intelligence and Capability Group: Our Department? Yes.

Chief Information Officer: As recently as last week we had a series of what is called “spear phishing” emails that were delivered into our Departments.

The Department has repeatedly failed to meet its cyber resilience deadlines – its original target date to achieve compliance was 30 June 2014.

It has never been more important to ensure the Government is reinforcing their cyber resilience following the recent WannaCry ransomwear attack that targeted vulnerable computer systems around the world including the National Health System in the UK.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton needs focus more on his job and not Malcolm Turnbull’s by making sure his Department is cyber resilient and the personal information of Australians and international travellers isn’t compromised.

TUESDAY, 23 MAY 2017