Personal details of nearly 80,000 South Australian public sector workers viewed in cyberattack, government confirms

Nearly 80,000 public sector workers in South Australia “would have to assume” that their personal information was accessed in a recent cyber attack, the state treasurer said.

The South Australian government announced on Friday that the attack on its payroll software, Frontier, had left between 38,000 and 80,000 workers vulnerable.

The data includes names, dates of birth, tax file numbers, home addresses, bank details, remuneration and pension contributions.

State Treasurer Rob Lucas today confirmed that the number of affected employees is close to 80,000.

“I am advised that all public sector employees, except Department of Education staff who use a different payroll system, should assume that their personal information was accessed during the Frontier Software cyberattack,” Mr. Lucas said.

In a statement, Lucas said the government has taken several steps to “address all areas of potential exposure.”

These actions include working with the tax office to add additional security measures, notifying banks to add collateral for employee bank accounts, alerting the public sector pension plan, and notifying the provider of state government wage sacrifices.

Controls have also been added by the payroll department to validate changes made or requested to employee personal data.

The state government also notified the state privacy committee, the office of the Australian Information Commissioner and the Australian Federal Police of the cyberattack.

Government employees were asked last week to take “precautionary measures” such as contacting their financial institutions and changing their passwords.

Public Service Association of SA general secretary Nev Kitchin said the organization expected the government “to do everything possible to minimize the effects of this security breach.”

“We expect the state government to take all possible measures to review its cybersecurity measures to prevent such an event in the future,” Kitchin said.

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