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Tasmanian ambulance patient data breached and published online

Tasmanian ambulance patient data breached and published online

Edward Kost
Edward Kost
January 9, 2021

Tasmania’s archaic ambulance paging system has been breached exposing the records of every Tasmanian that has requested an ambulance since November 2020.

The breached sensitive data was published online to an undisclosed website that has now been blocked.

"I am very concerned to hear that the sensitive information of some Tasmanians had been posted to a website.” Healthy Minister Sarah Courtney said in a statement.

"Appropriate steps have been taken by Ambulance Tasmania to limit the transmission of personal information via the paging system, balanced against the need to ensure patient and staff safety in responding to incidents."

Radio data from the Tasmanian Ambulance pager network was intercepted and converted to text before it was published online. The published sensitive data included a patient’s HIV status, gender, age, and the address of each emergency incident. 

Tasmania’s outdated ambulance communication network is a single example of the antiquated systems currently running the state’s emergency services, placing them at a heightened risk of further cyberattacks.

In a digital world relentlessly provoked by evolving data breach tactics, organizations no longer have the luxury of preferencing classical technology for its familiarity.

A pragmatic response to innovation and its associated cyber risk solutions will only result in an eventual precipitous demise.

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