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St Vincent’s Health releases update on December cyber attack

Investigations are ongoing, and data was definitely stolen, but there is so far no evidence of any data being published.

user icon David Hollingworth
Thu, 11 Jan 2024
St Vincent’s Health releases update on December cyber attack
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Following a cyber attack in December 2023, St Vincent’s Health has released an updated statement on the state of its investigations.

And so far, while the hospital admits the incident is concerning, no data appears to have yet been published.

The “suspicious activity” was first noticed on 19 December, and St Vincent’s immediately contacted state and federal authorities while also engaging an external security firm, CyberCX. On 21 December, the hospital found that data had been exfiltrated, at which point a public statement was released.


“At this stage of the investigation, there has been no evidence that the stolen data contains any sensitive personal information,” St Vincent’s said in a statement released today, 11 January.

“Our monitoring activities have not detected evidence of any stolen data being posted on the dark web. We have also been undertaking necessary system response and remediation activities.”

The hospital is currently monitoring the dark web for any evidence of publication but also admits that the investigation is a challenging one.

“We know that our staff, patients, residents, partners and the public want to know the status of the investigation,” the hospital said. “They particularly want to understand what, if any, sensitive personal information has been stolen by the cyber criminals.”

“We recognise that it may be frustrating and difficult to hear that this work is ongoing and that answers are not yet clear. We also feel that frustration.”

While digital forensic techniques are being employed, St Vincent’s said that the threat actor used “anti-forensic measures to obscure their activities”. The hospital is currently working with CyberCX, as well as the Australian Cyber Security Centre, the National Cyber Security Coordinator, the Australian Federal Police, and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

“St Vincent’s is working to determine what data has been removed,” St Vincent’s said. “This is a complex and highly technical activity, and we do expect it could take some time.”

Normal hospital and healthcare operations remain unaffected, and St Vincent’s has established a dedicated hotline and email for anyone with questions about the incident. The number is 1300 124 507, and the email is [email protected].

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth has been writing about technology for over 20 years, and has worked for a range of print and online titles in his career. He is enjoying getting to grips with cyber security, especially when it lets him talk about Lego.

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