Emergency text and email service hacked, residents receive warning messages about their personal data
A hacker has been able to send messages via text, email, and landline to people across Australia after an emergency warning alert service, used by councils, was hacked.
The message sent from the Early Warning Network on Friday night warned “EWN has been hacked. Your personal data is not safe. Trying to fix the security issues”.
It then included a link to a support email address and a website.
EWN said a hacker accessed its alerting system and sent the message to part of its database.
“This was sent out via email, text message and landline,” the company posted on Facebook.
“EWN staff at the time were able to quickly identify the attack and shut off our systems limiting the amount of messages sent out. Unfortunately, a small proportion of our database received this alert.”
The company urged residents to not click the links and to delete the message.
“We are currently investigating the attack and are working with the police to resolve this matter,” it said.
Email sent to some Queenslanders on January 5, 2019 telling them the Early Warning Network had been hacked. EWN said the message was sent by a hacker who accessed the alert system.
EWN said it has engaged an external cyber security company to help it deal with the aftermath.
It said the data of its users was safe.
In Queensland, Gladstone, Tablelands, Ipswich, and Logan councils posted on their Facebook pages to warn residents about the breach.
A number of residents replied saying they had received the messages.