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ABC Punts to Prerecorded Programming after Hack

Network intrusion; Spear-phishing; Unauthorized use of system administrator privileges

A breach fueled by a malicious email disrupted the broadcaster’s 24-hour news channel in Australia.

The email, sent by a hacker, contained a link to “ransomware” -- malware that can freeze a computer until the user pays up. In this situation, the message targeted the country’s postal service and then spread to ABC TV studios in Sydney and other major Australian organizations, including Telstra and Energy Australia, CSO reports.

Australia Post warned its customers about fake emails which claim that a "courier" has been unable to deliver a parcel to their address, according to local media.

“It isn't known what family of ransomware is being used in the Australian Post scam, but the odds are good that it's CryptoWall,” CSO writes.

ABC News 24 was forced to air old programming for 30 minutes, while information technology specialists responded to the incident.

According to a statement from ABC , an "IT security issue" impacted programming. Local news reports fleshed out the details. The assault allegedly originated in Russia. 


Energy; Government (Foreign); Media


October 7, 2014

reported by

Hollywood Reporter

number affected


location of breach

Sydney, Australia



location of perpetrators


date breach occurred

October 06, 2014

date breach detected

October 06, 2014