Legal AID ACT refuses to give into hackers’ demands

All parts of government are working together to look after people in the community

Legal Aid ACT CEO Dr. John Boersig has confirmed that they will not agree to the demands of a criminal group who stole private information from the organisation.

The decision not to pay a ransom is in line with federal and territory government advice.

On Thursday, 3 November 2022, Legal Aid ACT was subject to a cyber incident and took rapid action to change their systems and protect their clients who are socially or economically disadvantaged Canberrans.

Boersig said “Legal Aid ACT clients are people who have been subject to domestic and family violence, they are teenagers or older people, refugees, veterans, and people with disability. The safety of the clients and their families is the upper most priority.”

Chief Police Officer, Neil Gaughan said “Legal Aid ACT know from other examples around the world that criminals will often take ransom money and release information anyway or start approaching individuals with additional ransom demands.

“Any ransom payment, small or large, fuels the cybercrime business model, putting other Australians at risk.

Legal Aid ACT has remained committed to being as transparent as possible by providing regular updates on what the situation means for their clients.

“Legal Aid ACT will continue to work with Australia Federal Police and ACT Policing to investigate the matter and keep communicating with clients who may be impacted. If anyone has a concern, then they should contact us through the Helpline on 1300 654 314.

“I have welcomed the strong support from across ACT Government as Legal Aid ACT helps many Canberrans who also use government services in the justice, health, education, and community services sectors. All parts of government are working together to look after people in the community,” Dr. Boersig said.

The attack occurred on Thursday 3 November 2022. At the time Legal Aid ACT moved quickly to protect its systems and engaged a specialist cyber security firm to investigate this incident.

Legal Aid has continued to work with the Australian Federal Police and ACT Policing on the investigation into the criminal matter from the cyber incident last week.

While Legal Aid ACT do not have new information to share yet, Legal Aid ACT can reassure the clients that people are working around the clock to help us. This includes national and territory law enforcement agencies, IT specialists, community services groups, ACT Government, as well as the entire Legal Aid ACT team.

Legal Aid ACT share the community’s concern that this criminal group have targeted vulnerable Canberrans. They have stolen private information that Legal Aid ACT have always treated with the utmost care and confidentiality.

Legal Aid ACT helps people with their legal problems, especially people who are socially or economically disadvantaged. Many clients have been subject to domestic and family violence. Some clients are teenagers or older people who need help, or refugees trying to find safety in Australia. Legal Aid ACT also help veterans and people with disability to participate in Royal Commissions and share their stories.



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