Petya cyber attack: State Government accuses Liberals of cyber neglect

The 'Petya' ransomware attack has hit computer servers across the globe. Photo: iStock
The 'Petya' ransomware attack has hit computer servers across the globe. Photo: iStock

THE State Government has accused it predecessors of being asleep at the wheel on cyber security, as it announced a revised digital security policy for the WA public sector.

The announcement came after an overnight ransomware attack, called ‘Petya’, that attacked computer systems across the globe.

Premier Mark McGowan wrote to all Ministers, asking they speak with their departments and discuss implementation of this updated policy as an issue of high priority.

The updated policy is supported by guidance and tools that will help public sector agencies protect themselves against cyber threats.

Innovation and ICT (Information and Communication Technology Minister) Dave Kelly blasted the former government for being lax on the issue.

“The McGowan Labor Government understands the rising threat cyber security attacks pose to the public sector and community, and are working with government agencies to address them,” he said.

“For eight years, the previous Liberal National Government failed to address damming Auditor General reports which demonstrated many government agencies had insufficient security governance and procedures.

“In May 2017, the ‘WannaCry’ malware outbreak affected an estimated 200,000 computers across 150 countries worldwide.

“As we release this policy today, there has been another major cyber security attack from the ‘Petya’ ransomware, affecting businesses and governments around the world.

“So far this morning there have been no known successful attacks on the WA Government, but it is still early.

“WA avoided a serious breach last time, and the security updates put in place by government agencies should also protect against this new ‘Petya’ ransomware.

“These ongoing attacks demonstrate the seriousness of the situation and the importance of ensuring WA Government agencies are on the front foot in preventing successful attacks.

“We are committed to building a capable public sector that manages risk and delivers benefits.”

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