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Monday, 07 January 2019 16:10

Early Warning Network hacked, bogus threats sent out Featured

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Early Warning Network hacked, bogus threats sent out Pixabay

Hackers gained access to the database of a New South Wales-based company that sends free weather warnings on the weekend, through the use of stolen credentials and sent bogus alerts to some users of the system.

Early Warning Network said in a statement on its website on Monday that the unauthorised alerts were sent on Saturday night.

It said the alerting system was accessed at about 9.30pm on 5 January, and a "nuisance message' sent out to some subscribers whose addresses were in its database. Email, text and landline messages were sent.

"EWN staff at the time were able to quickly identify the attack and shut off the system limiting the number of messages sent out," the company said.

"Unfortunately, a small proportion of our database received this alert. Our systems are back up and running providing ongoing alerts for severe weather and natural hazard events. Investigations are continuing with police involvement."

The bogus messages said: "EWN has been hacked. Your personal data is not safe. Trying to fix the security issues."

The statement said the police and the Australian Cyber Security Centre had been notified.

EWN said no personal information had been exfiltrated as a result of the hack.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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