Malware takes down WA parliament ICT systems: Reports

Systems shut down to prevent spread of virus

A virus has wreaked chaos with the ICT systems of Western Australia’s parliament, according to reports.

According to a memo sent to parliament staff yesterday afternoon a Trojan “penetrated Parliament's information technology network despite sophisticated firewall virus protection,” WAtoday reported.

“To prevent further virus infiltration, computer and phones have been isolated and therefore inoperable,” the memo said according to WAtoday.

“We will be progressively restoring systems once we are confident that it is safe to do so.”

The WA parliament’s website is currently inaccessible.

Attempts to contact a spokesperson via phone were unsuccessful.

An audit released last year found significant security weaknesses among a number of WA government agencies, including unpatched systems and weak passwords.

Earlier this year details were revealed of what was described as a “hacking attempt” targeting an office of the NSW Department of Industry’s resources and energy division.

That incident followed an alleged “major cyber attack” late last year targeting the Bureau of Meteorology. The Bureau has been closemouthed on the alleged attack but recently said it was working to boost IT security.

In the wake of the BoM allegations, independent South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon has been pushing for a federal inquiry into the “adequacy of security for government and citizen data held, or transmitted, by governments, commercial entities, non-government organisations (NGOs) or citizens”.

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