ICYMI: Hackers accessed audio visual in-court technology network in Victoria, Australia

Hackers have accessed the visual in-court technology network of Court Services Victoria (CSV) in Australia, impacting Victoria’s courts and tribunals. The cyber attack led to the disruption of the audio visual in-court technology network, impacting video recordings, audio recordings and transcription services. The incident was discovered on 21 December and it is understood that video and audio recordings of hearings between 1 November and 21 December have been accessed, but it is possible that hearings before 1 November are affected. Other Court records are not impacted.

According to reports from US news outlets including ABC, Court staff were locked out of their computers on 21 December by a message saying: “YOU HAVE BEEN PWND.” ABC and other outlets cite cyber experts who claim that this is a Russian phishing attack, using commercial ransomware known as Qilin.

In a statement, CSV’s chief executive officer Louise Anderson said in December: “CSV took immediate action to isolate and disable the affected network and to put in place arrangements to ensure continued operations across the courts. As a result, hearings in January will be proceeding.”

The table below sets out which recordings may have been accessed according to CSV. While Court and tribunal hearings are mostly public and not confidential in Victoria, The Guardian in Australia and other mainstream news outlets have reported that recordings from the children’s court, which has strict restrictions to protect the identities of minors, was also likely affected.


You can email privacy@courts.vic.gov.au if you wish to raise any concerns about how the incident was handled.