3 February 2016

The NSW Opposition is urging the Baird Government to reassure the public that the integrity of commercially sensitive data has not been compromised.

The call for public reassurance follows a report of recent attempt to hack into the Department of Industry and obtain information about sensitive mining locations.

Following the announcement of the hacking attempt the Department of Industry confirmed there has been a high level of virus activity targeting the Maitland office which oversees most of the mining exploration information for the State.

The NSW Opposition has requested a briefing on the incident and the steps that will be taken to assure such commercially sensitive information remains secure.

Labor Leader in the Legislative Council and Shadow Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy, Adam Searle said:

“Any incident of hacking is highly alarming, especially when the site in question houses information worth billions of dollars to the State economy.”

“Last year, there were national reports about similar hacking attempts on important government institutions including Federal Parliament. Governments must take these matters seriously to protect the public interest.”

“Where you have commercially sensitive data worth potentially billions of dollars in the hands of people who have an interest in those mining approvals, the fact is that there could be a number of parties who want to seek that information.

“The NSW Labor Opposition has requested a briefing into this incident so it can work alongside the Baird Government to protect the security of information of such value to the public.

“I would have hoped that the Government would have given a briefing to the Opposition about this matter earlier, that they would have taken the initiative when they became aware of it, that unfortunately hasn’t happened.”

“It has been now several weeks since this occurred, it’s only been made public by the media but putting that to one side, the Opposition wants to work constructively in partnership with the Government on this matter because it is so important to the state’s entire economy,” Mr Searle said.