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Central Coast Council cyber attack could affect people nationwide

Central Coast Council has disclosed a cyber attack on its systems that has affected its online payment services and could compromise cardholders all around the country.

user icon Daniel Croft
Thu, 01 Feb 2024
Central Coast Council cyber attack could affect people nationwide
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The attack occurred yesterday (31 January) when the council detected suspicious activity in its payment system.

The council now understands that this was a result of a cyber attack in which the threat actor attempted to identify real credit card numbers through trial and error.

“[The attack involved] the generation of random card numbers that were then tested for authenticity by making small payments to council,” said the council.


“Hundreds of these payment attempts were rejected, but we are aware that fewer than 20 were successful.”

The nature of the attack means those affected are not limited to Central Coast Council users.

“These actions may have impacted any cardholders across Australia, not just those who transact with council,” the council added.

In response to the attack, the Central Coast Council has closed its payment channels and is working with “its providers” to determine a solution. It also added that other organisations were impacted.

“Council concern remains alerting our community that this is another example of sophisticated attackers and that all cardholders should remain alert,” said the council.

“We strongly recommend that you check your banking transactions, and if you suspect your card information may have been compromised, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.”

The council added that while its online payment channel is still down, other methods of payment were still available, such as BPay and credit and debit card payment at physical locations such as the Gosford Service Centre, the Wyong administration building and the Woy Woy and Lake Haven library service centres.

Neither the threat actor behind the attack nor any other organisations affected in the same way are known.

The council said it will provide an update when it gets information from the provider of its payment services.

Daniel Croft

Daniel Croft

Born in the heart of Western Sydney, Daniel Croft is a passionate journalist with an understanding for and experience writing in the technology space. Having studied at Macquarie University, he joined Momentum Media in 2022, writing across a number of publications including Australian Aviation, Cyber Security Connect and Defence Connect. Outside of writing, Daniel has a keen interest in music, and spends his time playing in bands around Sydney.

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