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‘Fear and concern’ over Tasmania school kids’ hacked data

The hackers dumped kids' details on the dark web for anyone to use and abuse.<i>Photo: Getty</i>

The hackers dumped kids' details on the dark web for anyone to use and abuse.Photo: Getty

The Tasmanian opposition has accused the state government of downplaying the seriousness of a cyber attack that led to the release of 16,000 documents on the dark web.

No new information from the education department was released overnight but Science and Technology minister Madeleine Ogilvie said Tasmania was not yet out of the woods.

On Friday, hackers released thousands of financial statements and invoices gained through an attack on a third-party file transfer service GoAnywhere MFT.

The documents contained information relating to student assistance applications including names and addresses.

On Saturday, the opposition accused the government of failing to provide a full account of what personal data had been stolen.

Shadow Science and Technology Minister Jen Butler and Shadow Education Minister Josh Willie said the “horrendous” situation should never have happened.

Joint statement

“Minister Madeleine Ogilvie has tried to downplay the seriousness of this event for a fortnight – including claiming barely two days ago that it was “inaccurate” that thousands of school families’ personal information had been compromised,” the pair said in a statement.

Ms Ogilvie said authorities were reaching out to people impacted by the attack and prioritising vulnerable Tasmanians but it was unclear exactly how many individuals had been affected.

“I know there is fear and concern in the community,” she told reporters on Saturday.

“And I think it’s incumbent upon all of us, no matter which political party we’re from, to remain calm and prudent and sensible, and not elevate or heighten those fears.”

She said 130 other organisations had been caught up in the hack and the government expected more information could be released.

The hackers have not made any ransomware demands but advice from the federal government is not to pay up if one is eventually received.

-AAP

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