Statistics from the Australian government show how many Australians have lost their privacy online due to cyber attacks.
Data breach statistics show 1.3 million Australians have had their personal data breached over the past 12 months.
While the vast majority of cyber-attacks involve phishing and phishing scams, a handful of recent hacks have targeted data belonging to Australians and other foreigners.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) says it is aware of the data breach.
“We have been in contact with the Department of Homeland Security and have been liaising with the department in this matter,” DFAT spokesman Adam Turetsky said.
DFAT has also advised foreign visitors to Australia to check with their embassy or consulate if they feel they are at risk.
“We are urging Australians to remain vigilant and to contact their embassy, consulate or travel provider if they are concerned,” Tureansky said.
The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) says its research suggests more than 40 per cent of breaches are the result of phishing.
In a statement, ASIO chief Stephen O’Brien said that the agency had received more than 2,000 reports of phished phishing emails, many of which contained the phrase “password reset”.
“Many phishers will use the same phishing technique to compromise a single Australian citizen, but instead use it to compromise thousands of others,” he said.
“They may also use it as a bait to gain access to other people’s accounts or to steal passwords and other personal information.”
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in March that phishing attacks are a “real problem” in the country, but also said the country’s privacy laws would help keep Australians safe.
“If people don’t want to pay the price for their data being compromised, then the privacy laws need to be stronger and better,” he told reporters at the time.
The Government’s data breach response strategy has been called for, with the government seeking to reassure foreign visitors, and to strengthen existing laws to keep them safe.
Australian banks and financial services companies have been asked to review how they handle data breaches, and a new privacy legislation will be introduced in October.
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