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Thursday, 20 May 2021 19:32

Nine's real estate site Domain hit by phishing attack Featured

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Nine's real estate site Domain hit by phishing attack Pixabay

Media firm Nine Entertainment's real estate website, Domain, has been hit by a phishing attack just weeks after the parent company suffered a ransomware attack.

The real estate site has warned any of the site's users who try to inquire about rental properties through the site that an authorised third party could have access to their information.

iTWire understands that the phishing attack has had no effect on Nine, which owns 60% of Domain.

Domain chief executive Jason Pellegrino has warned users that personal information such as phone numbers and email addresses may have been obtained by those behind the phishing attack.

The Age, one of the newspapers in Nine's stable, quoted Pellegrino's email as saying: "We have identified a scam that used a phishing attack to gain access to Domain’s administrative systems to engage with people who have made rental property inquiries.

"We understand the scammers then contacted some of these people by email to suggest that they pay a ‘deposit’ to secure a rental property on a website nominated by the scammer.

"Importantly, we have had no reports made by an individual directly to Domain who had fallen for the scam.

“There is a risk that some of your personal information may have been accessed by an unauthorised third party that has obtained access to Domain’s systems as a result of a scam targeting one of our systems,” he added.

“It is not yet clear how many users were affected by the scam.”

In March, Nine Entertainment was hit by ransomware known as MedusaLocker. The company was still recovering from the attack in April.

Commenting on the incident, Ashwin Ram, a cyber security evangelist at Israeli security shop Check Point Software Technologies, said: "Unfortunately, this isn't an isolated episode. Check Point Threat Intelligence data can reveal an Australian organisation is being attacked on average more than 1500 times per month in the last six months.

"These attacks are not always sophisticated and can be prevented using the right security controls, when configured correctly and in line with best practice.

"It is incredibly important for companies to take a prevention approach to cyber security to protect their business, data and customers because once a threat is inside an Australian organisation it can remain undetected for over 290 days on average as recent studies have shown.

"What we also know is that the longer a threat is in an environment, the more damage it can cause, resulting in more cost to an organisation.

"Companies are increasingly required to have a zero tolerance to cyber crimes. In cases where there is a data breach, coming forward and helping customers understand risks and how to avoid further spread is critical. We recommend to all consumers to be extra aware in the coming days."


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Sam Varghese

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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