Melbourne's Stonnington council hit by suspected cyber attack

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Melbourne's Stonnington council hit by suspected cyber attack

Forced to shut down systems after 'infiltration'.

A Melbourne council is experiencing a “major disruption to its IT services” after it was “infiltrated” in a suspected cyber attack.

The City of Stonnington on Monday said it experienced an “IT issue” on August 27 that forced it to pull web-based services like payments and the council’s ePlanning portal offline as a precaution.

“Some systems have been disabled while the issue is being investigated and resolved,” it said in a statement, adding that “essential services delivered by the council remain operational”.

“Council is working with the appropriate state government agencies and our cyber insurance partners to investigate the incident, to ensure all council data is secure.”

A note on the website indicates that the issue was “first detected over the weekend during maintenance work”.

In a follow up statement on Tuesday, the council described the disruption as a “global incident that has the potential to affect a number organisations around that world, and can happen to anyone”.

It also said that “ratepayer and customer data is safe”, though noted the investigation is ongoing.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience as we work to bring our systems back online, however, we will only do so when it is safe,” the council said.

“We will continue providing regular updates as the investigation continues.”

Speaking on 7News on Monday, CEO Jacqui Weatherill said “an international agent has come and infiltrated our systems”, though did not elaborate.

Stonnington has a population of approximately 118,000 people, and takes in the Melbourne suburbs of Armadale, Glen Iris, Kooyong, Malvern East, Prahran, South Yarra, Toorak and Windsor.

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