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Australian Government - Office of the Australian Information Commissioner - Home

Notifiable Data Breaches Quarterly Statistics Report: 1 July – 30 September 2018

pdfPrintable version1.3 MB

Report issued: 30/10/2018

 

On this page

  1. Key statistics
  2. About this report
  3. Notifications received from all industry sectors
    1. Number of data breaches reported — All sectors
    2. Number of individuals affected by breaches — All sectors
    3. Kinds of personal information involved in breaches — All sectors
    4. Source of the breaches — All sectors
    5. Human error breaches — All sectors
    6. Malicious or criminal attack breaches — All sectors
    7. Cyber incident breaches — All sectors
    8. System fault breaches — All sectors
  4. Comparison of top 5 industry sectors that reported breaches in the quarter
    1. Top 5 industry sectors
    2. Source of breaches — Top 5 industry sectors
    3. Human error breaches — Top 5 industry sectors
    4. Malicious or criminal attack breaches — Top 5 industry sectors
    5. Cyber incident breaches — Top 5 industry sectors
    6. System fault breaches — Top 5 industry sectors
  5. Finance sector report
    1. Summary — Finance sector
    2. Number of breaches reported under the Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme — Finance sector
    3. Number of individuals affected by breaches — Finance sector
    4. Source of the breaches — Finance sector
    5. Human error breaches — Finance sector
    6. Malicious or criminal attack breaches — Finance sector
    7. Cyber incident breaches — Finance sector
    8. System fault breaches — Finance sector
  6. Health sector report
    1. Summary — Health sector
    2. Number of breaches reported under the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme — Health sector
    3. Number of individuals affected by breaches — Health sector
    4. Source of the breaches — Health sector
    5. Human error breaches — Health sector
    6. Malicious or criminal attack breaches — Health sector
    7. Cyber incident breaches — Health sector
    8. System fault breaches — Health sector
  7. Glossary
    1. Breach categories
    2. Other terminology used in this report and in the NDB Form
  8. Footnotes
  9. Long text descriptions

Key statistics

245 notifications

37% human error

57% malicious or criminal attacks

6% system faults

 

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About this report

This report captures notifications received by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) under the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme between 1 July 2018 and 30 September 2018 (data breaches).

The OAIC publishes quarterly statistical information about notifications received under the NDB scheme to assist entities and the public to understand the operation of the scheme.

Where data breaches affect multiple entities, the OAIC may receive multiple notifications relating to the same data breach. Notifications to the OAIC relating to the same data breach incident are counted as a single notification in this report.

The source of any given data breach is based on information provided by the reporting entity. Where more than one source has been identified or is possible, the dominant or most likely source has been selected for statistical purposes. Source of data breach categories are defined in the glossary at the end of this report.

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Notifications received from all industry sectors

Number of data breaches reported — All sectors

Chart 1.1 — Number of breaches reported under the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme by month — All sectors

Bar chart from July to September 2018. There were 81 in July, 88 in August and 76 in September. Link to long text description follows chart.

Table 1.A — Number of breaches reported under the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme by quarter — All sectors
QuarterNumber of notifications
January to March 2018*
* As the NDB scheme commenced on 22 February 2018, data is only available for part of the quarter
63
April to June 2018 242
July to September 2018 245

Number of individuals affected by breaches — All sectors

Chart 1.2 — Number of individuals affected by breaches in the quarter — All sectors

Bar chart shows the number of affected individuals by number range. 10 number ranges are displayed. The top 3 are: 65 notifications affected 101 to 1000 individuals; 58 notifications affected 1 individual; and 53 notifications affected 11 to 100 individuals. Link to long text description follows chart.

Note: Where bands are not shown (for example, 25,001 to 50,000), there were nil reports in the period. ‘Unknown’ includes notifications by entities whose investigations were ongoing at the time of this report.

Most data breaches in the period involved the personal information of 100 individuals or fewer (63 per cent of data breaches).

Data breaches impacting between 1 and 10 individuals comprised 41 per cent of the notifications.

Kinds of personal information involved in breaches — All sectors

Chart 1.3 — Kinds of personal information involved in breaches by number of notifications — All sectors

Bar chart shows the kind of personal information involved. There are 6 types in the chart. The top three are: Contact information with 208 notifications, Financial details with 110 notifications and Identity information with 85 notifications. Link to long text description follows chart.

Note: Data breaches may involve one or more kinds of personal information.

Table 1.B — Kinds of personal information involved in breaches by percentage of notifications – All sectors
Kinds of personal information% of total NDBs received
Contact information 85%
Financial details 45%
Identity information 35%
TFN 22%
Health information 22%
Other sensitive information 7%

The majority of data breaches involved ‘contact information’, such as an individual’s home address, phone number or email address. This is distinct from ‘identity information’, which refers to information that is used to confirm an individual’s identity, such as passport number, driver’s licence number or other government identifiers.

Entities also notified data breaches that involved financial details, such as bank account or credit card numbers, individuals’ tax file numbers (TFNs), as well as health information. ‘Other sensitive information’ refers to categories of sensitive information as set out in section 6(1) of the Privacy Act, other than health information as defined in section 6FA.

Source of the breaches — All sectors

This chart breaks down the sources of data breaches as identified by notifying entities in all industry sectors in the quarter.

Chart 1.4 — Source of data breaches by percentage — All sectors

Pie chart shows source of data breaches. There are three - from most to least notifications: Malicious or criminal attack accounted for 57%, Human error for 57% and System fault for 6%. Link to long text description follows chart.

Malicious or criminal attacks accounted for 57 per cent of data breaches reported this quarter (139 notifications).

Malicious or criminal attacks differ from human error data breaches in that they are deliberately crafted to exploit known vulnerabilities for financial or other gain. Attacks included cyber incidents such as phishing, malware, ransomware, brute-force attack and hacking by other means, as well as social engineering or impersonation and actions taken by a rogue employee or insider threat. Theft of paperwork or storage devices was also reported as a source of malicious or criminal attacks. Many cyber incidents this quarter appear to have exploited vulnerabilities involving a human factor (such as clicking on a phishing email or disclosing passwords).

Human error remained a significant source of data breaches, accounting for 37 per cent of all incidents reported (92 notifications).

System faults accounted for 6 per cent of data breaches (14 notifications).

Human error breaches — All sectors

This chart breaks down the kinds of breaches identified as ‘human error’ in the quarter.

Chart 1.5 — Human error breakdown — All sectors

Bar chart breaks down the human error data breaches. There are 10 types in the chart. The top 2 are: Personal information sent to the wrong recipient (email) with 29 notifications; and Unauthorised disclosure (unintended release or publication) with 14 notifications. Link to long text description follows chart.

The second largest source of data breaches was human error. Sending personal information to the wrong recipient via email accounted for 12 per cent of all data breaches during the quarter. This was followed by the unintended release or publication of personal information (6 per cent), loss of paperwork/data storage device (5 per cent), and sending personal information to the wrong recipient via mail (5 per cent). This quarter also included incidents where personal information was provided to the wrong recipient via channels other than email, fax or mail, for example, delivery by hand or uploading to web portal.

However, certain kinds of data breaches can affect larger numbers of people. For example, in this quarter data breaches involving unauthorised disclosure as a result of a failure to redact personal information impacted the largest numbers of individuals (an average of 633 affected individuals per breach). Failures to use the ‘blind carbon copy’ (BCC) function when sending group emails impacted an average of 494 individuals per data breach. In contrast, human errors involving sending personal information to the wrong recipient generally impacted smaller groups of individuals.

Table 1.C — Human error breakdown by average number of affected individuals — All sectors
Kinds of personal informationNo. of NDBs receivedAverage no. of affected individuals
Unauthorised disclosure (failure to redact) 4 633
Failure to use BCC when sending email 6 494
Unauthorised disclosure (unintended release or publication) 14 94
Insecure disposal 1 79
PI sent to wrong recipient (email) 29 70
PI sent to wrong recipient (mail) 13 35
Unauthorised disclosure (verbal) 6 11
Loss of paperwork/data storage device 13 8
PI sent to wrong recipient (fax) 2 5
PI sent to wrong recipient (other) 4 4

Malicious or criminal attack breaches — All sectors

This chart breaks down the kinds of breaches identified as ‘malicious or criminal attack’ in the quarter.

Chart 1.6 — Malicious or criminal attacks breakdown — All sectors

Bar chart breaks down the malicious or criminal attack data breaches. There are 4 in the chart. From most to least: Cyber incidents with 96 notifications; Theft of paper or data storage devices with 17; Rogue employee/insider threat with 14; and social engineering/impersonation with 12. Link to long text description follows chart.

Malicious or criminal attacks were the largest source of data breaches this quarter, accounting for 57 per cent of all notifications.

Of the 139 data breaches resulting from a malicious or criminal attack, 69 per cent involved cyber incidents. Many cyber incidents in this quarter involved the exploitation of vulnerabilities involving a human factor (such as clicking on an attachment to a phishing email), as well as incidents involving malware, ransomware, and hacking by other means.

Theft of paperwork or storage devices was the second most reported source of malicious or criminal attacks (12 per cent).

Other sources included actions taken by a rogue employee or insider threat (10 per cent) and social engineering or impersonation (9 per cent).

Cyber incident breaches — All sectors

This chart breaks down the kinds of breaches identified as ‘malicious or criminal attack — cyber incident’ in the quarter.

Chart 1.7 — Cyber incident breakdown — All sectors

Pie chart breaks down the cyber incident data breaches. There are 6 types in the chart. The top 3 are Phishing with 50%; Compromised or stolen credentials through method unknown, with 19%; and brute-force attack (compromised credentials) with 12%. Link to long text description follows chart.

The majority of cyber incidents were linked to the compromise of credentials through phishing (48 notification), by unknown methods (18 notifications), or by brute-force attack (11 notifications).

System fault breaches — All sectors

This chart breaks down the kinds of breaches identified as ‘system fault’ in the quarter.

Chart 1.8 — System fault breakdown — All sectors

Bar chart breaks down the system fault data breaches. There are two: unintended release or publication of personal information with 9 notifications and unintended access with 5 notifications. Link to long text description follows chart.

System faults accounted for 6 per cent of data breaches this quarter.

Across all sectors, 9 data breaches related to the unintended release or publication of personal information as a result of a system fault. This includes the disclosure of personal information on a website due to a bug in the web code, or a machine fault that results in a document containing personal information being sent to the wrong person.

Additionally, 5 data breaches related to unintended access to personal information as a result of a system fault, such as a coding error which allows an individual to access another individual’s online account.

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Comparison of top 5 industry sectors that reported breaches in the quarter

This section compares notifications made under the NDB scheme by the five industry sectors that made the most notifications in the quarter (top 5 industry sectors).

Top 5 industry sectors

Table 2.A — Top industry sectors by notifications in the quarter
Top 5 industry sectorsData breaches received
Health service providers [1] 45
Finance (incl. superannuation) [2] 35
Legal, accounting & management services 34
Education [3] 16
Personal services [4] 13

The NDB scheme applies to agencies and organisations that the Privacy Act requires to take reasonable steps to secure personal information. This includes Australian Government agencies, businesses and not-for-profit organisations with an annual turnover of $3 million or more, credit reporting bodies, health service providers, and TFN recipients, among others.

From July to September 2018, the top sector to report notifiable data breaches was the private health service provider sector (health sector) (18 per cent). The second largest source was the finance sector (14 per cent). This was followed by the legal, accounting and management services sector (14 per cent), the private education sector (education) (7 per cent), and the personal services sector (5 per cent).

Notifications made under the My Health Records Act 2012 are not included in this report, as they are subject to specific notification requirements set out in that Act.

Source of breaches — Top 5 industry sectors

This chart breaks down the sources of data breaches as identified by notifying entities in the top 5 industry sectors in the quarter.

Chart 2.1 — Source of data breaches — Top 5 industry sectors

Bar chart breaks down source of data breaches in the top 5 industry sectors. The 3 sources are system fault, malicious or criminal attack, and human error. Link to long text description follows chart.

The highest reporting sector was health service providers (45 notifications). Of those notifications, 56 per cent of data breaches were the result of human error. Notifications from the finance sector, legal, accounting and management services and personal services were generally evenly split between human error and malicious or criminal attacks.

Four of the top five sectors notified at least one breach resulting from a system fault.

Human error breaches — Top 5 industry sectors

This table and chart breaks down the kinds of breaches identified as ‘human error’ by the top 5 industry sectors in the quarter.

Chart 2.2 — Human error breakdown — Top 5 industry sectors

Bar chart breaks down the human error data breaches in the top 5 industry sectors. There are 10 types of human error shown. Link to long text description follows chart.

Malicious or criminal attack breaches — Top 5 industry sectors

This chart breaks down the kinds of breaches identified as ‘malicious or criminal attack’ by the top 5 industry sectors in the quarter.

Chart 2.3 — Malicious or criminal attacks breakdown — Top 5 industry sectors

Bar chart breaks down malicious or criminal attacks in the top 5 industry sectors. There are 4 types shown - the most common type for all industries is Cyber incident. Link to long text description follows chart.

Cyber incident breaches — Top 5 industry sectors

This chart breaks down the kinds of breaches identified as ‘malicious or criminal attack — cyber incident’ by the top 5 industry sectors in the quarter.

Chart 2.4 — Cyber incident breakdown — Top 5 industry sectors

Bar chart breaks down the cyber incidents across the top 5 industry sectors. There are 6 types of cyber incident in the chart. Link to long text description follows chart.

Similar to the overall trend, the majority of cyber incidents in the top five reporting sectors were linked to the compromise of credentials through phishing, brute-force attacks, or by unknown methods.

System fault breaches — Top 5 industry sectors

This chart breaks down the kinds of breaches identified as ‘system fault’ by the top 5 industry sectors in the quarter.

Chart 2.5 — System fault breakdown — Top 5 industry sectors

Bar chart breaks down system fault data breaches in the top 5 industry sectors. There are 2 types: unintended access, and unintended release or publication. Link to long text description follows chart.

The legal, accounting and management services sector did not report any data breaches that were the result of a system fault.

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Finance sector report

This section captures notifications made under the NDB scheme by entities in the finance sector, such as banks, wealth managers, financial advisors, superannuation funds and consumer credit providers (regardless of annual turnover).

Summary — Finance sector

35 notifications

48% human error

46% malicious or criminal attacks

6% system faults

 

Number of breaches reported under the Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme — Finance sector

Table 3.A — Number of breaches reported under the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme by the finance sector by quarter
QuarterTotal number of notifications
January to March 2018*
* As the NDB scheme commenced on 22 February 2018, data is only available for part of the quarter
8
April to June 2018 36
July to September 2018 35

Number of individuals affected by breaches — Finance sector

Chart 3.1 — Number of individuals affected by breaches in the quarter — Finance sector

Bar chart shows the number of affected individuals by number range in the finance sector. 7 number ranges are displayed. The top 3 are: 12 notifications affected 2 to 10 individuals; 7 notifications affected 11 to 100 individuals; and 7 notifications affected 1 individual. Link to long text description follows chart.

Note: Where bands are not shown, there were nil reports in the period.

Most notifications in the period from the finance sector involved the personal information of 100 individuals or fewer (74 per cent of breaches). Breaches impacting between 1 and 10 individuals comprised 54 per cent of the notifications. 26 per cent of notifications from the finance sector affected more than 100 individuals.

Source of the breaches — Finance sector

Chart 3.2 — Source of data breaches by percentage — Finance sector

Pie chart shows source of data breaches in the Finance sector. There are three - from most to least notifications: Human error accounted for 48%; Malicious or criminal attack accounted for 46%, and System fault for 6%. Link to long text description follows chart.

The majority of data breaches in the finance sector were the result of human error (17 notifications), followed by malicious or criminal attacks (16 notifications).

System fault accounted for 6 per cent of data breaches (2 notifications).

Human error breaches — Finance sector

This chart breaks down the kinds of data breaches identified as caused by ‘human error’ by the finance sector in the quarter.

Chart 3.3 — Human error breakdown — Finance sector

Bar chart breaks down the human error data breaches in the Finance sector. There are 6 types in the chart. The top 2 are: Personal information sent to the wrong recipient (email) with 4 notifications; and Personal information sent to the wrong recipient (mail) with 4 notifications. Link to long text description follows chart.

Almost half of data breaches by the finance sector were the result of human error (48 per cent). Human error data breaches by the finance sector included sending personal information to the wrong recipient by email or mail, as well as loss of paperwork or storage device.

Malicious or criminal attack breaches — Finance sector

This chart breaks down the kinds of breaches identified as ‘malicious or criminal attack’ by the finance sector in the quarter.

Chart 3.4 — Malicious or criminal attacks breakdown — Finance sector

Bar chart breaks down the Malicious or criminal attack data breaches in the Finance sector. There are 4 types; the top 2 are Cyber incidents with 11 notifications; and Theft of paperwork or data storage devices with 2 notifications. Link to long text description follows chart.

Malicious and criminal attacks accounted for 46 per cent of data breaches notified by the finance sector. Of these, cyber incidents were the most common type of malicious or criminal attack (69 per cent).

Cyber incident breaches — Finance sector

This chart breaks down the kinds of breaches identified as ‘malicious or criminal attack — cyber incident’ by the finance sector in the quarter.

Chart 3.5 — Cyber incident breakdown — Finance sector

Pie chart breaks down the cyber incident data breaches in the Finance sector. There are 5 types in the chart. The top 2 are Phishing (compromised credentials) 37%; and Hacking 27%. Link to long text description follows chart.

Of the cyber incidents notified by the finance sector, 7 data breaches were related to compromised or stolen credentials (such as phishing or brute-force attacks). Hacked websites or systems was the source for 3 notifications, and ransomware for 1 notification.

System fault breaches — Finance sector

Two notifications in the quarter identified the source of the data breach as a system fault leading to unauthorised access and disclosure of personal information.

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Health sector report

This section captures notifications made under the NDB scheme by entities in the private health service provider (health) sector.[5]

Notifications made under the My Health Records Act 2012 are not included in this report, as they are subject to specific notification requirements set out in that Act.

Summary — Health sector

45 notifications

56% human error

42% malicious or criminal attacks

2% system faults

 

Number of breaches reported under the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme — Health sector

Table 4.A — Number of breaches reported under the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme by the health sector by quarter
QuarterTotal number of notifications
January to March 2018*
* As the NDB scheme commenced on 22 February 2018, data is only available for part of the quarter
15
April to June 2018 49
July to September 2018 45

Number of individuals affected by breaches — Health sector

Chart 4.1 — Number of individuals affected by breaches in the quarter — Health sector

Bar chart shows the number of affected individuals by number range within the Health sector. 7 number ranges are displayed. The top 3 are: 16 notifications affected 1 individual; 11 notifications affected 11 to 100 individuals; and 9 notifications affected 101 to 1,000 individuals. Link to long text description follows chart.

Note: Where bands are not shown, there were nil reports in the period.

The majority of data breaches from the health sector involved the personal information of 100 individuals or fewer (71 per cent of breaches). Data breaches impacting between 1 and 10 individuals comprised 47 per cent of the notifications, while 24 per cent of data breaches affected more than 100 individuals.

Source of the breaches — Health sector

Chart 4.2 — Source of data breaches by percentage — Health sector

Pie chart shows source of data breaches in the health sector. There are 3: Malicious or criminal attack accounted for 42%, Human error for 56%, and System fault for 2%. Link to long text description follows chart.

Human error accounted for 56 per cent of data breaches in the health sector (25 notifications). This includes incidents in which a mistake made by a person caused the breach, such as communications sent to the wrong recipient or loss of paperwork or a storage device.

Malicious or criminal attacks accounted for 42 per cent of health sector data breaches (19 notifications).

Only one data breach reported by the health sector was the result of a system fault.

Human error breaches — Health sector

This chart breaks down the kinds of breaches identified as ‘human error’ by the health sector in the quarter.

Chart 4.3 — Human error breakdown — Health sector

Bar chart breaks down the human error data breaches in the Health sector. There are 9 types in the chart. Link to long text description follows chart.

The source of the largest number of data breaches reported by the health sector was human error (56 per cent), with examples including sending personal information to the wrong recipient by email, mail, fax or by other means. Human error also includes the loss of paperwork or storage devices, and the unintended release or publication of personal information.

Malicious or criminal attack breaches — Health sector

This chart breaks down the kinds of breaches identified as ‘malicious or criminal attack’ by the health sector in the quarter.

Chart 4.4 — Malicious or criminal attacks breakdown — Health sector

Bar chart breaks down the malicious or criminal attack data breaches in the Health sector. There are 4 in the chart. From most to least: Theft of paper or data storage devices with 8; Cyber incidents with 7 notifications; Rogue employee/insider threat with 3; and Social engineering/impersonation with 1. Link to long text description follows chart.

Malicious and criminal attacks were reported as the second largest source of data breaches from the health sector. Of these, theft of paperwork or storage devices was the most common type of attack (42 per cent), and cyber incidents were the second most common type of attack (37 per cent).

Cyber incident breaches — Health sector

This chart breaks down the kinds of breaches identified as ‘malicious or criminal attack — cyber incident’ by the health sector in the quarter.

Chart 4.5 — Cyber incident breakdown — Health sector

Pie chart breaks down the cyber incident data breaches in the Health sector. There are 4 types in the chart. Phishing had 58%, while Hacking, Ransomware and Malware had 14% each.

The health sector reported that 4 data breaches caused by cyber incidents were the result of compromised credentials through phishing attacks. Malware (1 notification), hacking by other means (1 notification) and ransomware attacks (1 notification) account for the remaining cyber incidents.

System fault breaches — Health sector

One notification from the health sector received during the quarter reported that a system fault resulted in unintended access to personal information.

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Glossary

Breach categories

TermDefinition
Human error An unintended action by an individual directly resulting in a data breach, for example inadvertent disclosure caused by sending a document containing personal information to the incorrect recipient.
PI sent to wrong recipient (email) Personal information sent to the wrong recipient via email, for example, as a result of misaddressed email or incorrect address on file.
PI sent to wrong recipient (fax) Personal information sent to the wrong recipient via facsimile machine, for example, as a result of fax number incorrectly entered or wrong fax number on file.
PI sent to wrong recipient (mail) Personal information sent to the wrong recipient via postal mail, for example, as a result of transcribing error or wrong address on file.
PI sent to wrong recipient (other) Personal information sent to the wrong recipient via channels other than email, fax or mail, for example, delivery by hand or uploading to web portal.
Failure to use BCC when sending email Sending an email to a group by including all recipient emails addresses in the ‘To’ field, thereby disclosing all recipient email address to all recipients.
Insecure disposal Disposing of personal information in a manner that could lead to its unauthorised disclosure, for example, using a public rubbish bin to dispose of customer records instead of a secure document disposal bin.
Loss of paperwork/data storage device Loss of a physical asset(s) containing personal information, for example, leaving a folder or a laptop on a bus.
Unauthorised disclosure (failure to redact) Failure to effectively remove or de-identify personal information from a record before disclosing it.
Unauthorised disclosure (verbal) Disclosing personal information without authorisation, verbally, for example, calling it out in a waiting room.
Unauthorised disclosure (unintended release or publication) Unauthorised disclosure of personal information in a written format, including paper documents or online.
Malicious or criminal attack A malicious or criminal attack deliberately crafted to exploit known vulnerabilities for financial or other gain.
Theft of paperwork or data storage device Theft of paperwork or data storage device
Social engineering/impersonation An attack that relies heavily on human interaction to manipulate people into breaking normal security procedures and best practices in order to gain access to systems, networks or physical locations.
Rogue employee/insider threat An attack by an employee or insider acting against the interests of their employer or other entity.
Cyber incident A cyber incident targets computer information systems, infrastructures, computer networks, or personal computer devices.
Malware Software which is specifically designed to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorised access to a computer system.
Ransomware A type of malicious software designed to block access to data or a computer system until a sum of money is paid or other conditions are met.
Phishing (compromised credentials) An attack in which the target is contacted by email or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing personal information, sensitive information or passwords.
Brute-force attack (compromised credentials) Automated software is used to generate a large number of consecutive guesses as to the value of the desired data, for example passwords.
Compromised or stolen credentials (method unknown) Credentials are compromised or stolen by methods unknown.
Hacking (other means) Exploiting a software or security weakness to gain access to a system or network, other than by way of phishing, brute-force attack or malware.
System fault A business or technology process error not caused by direct human error.

Other terminology used in this report and in the NDB Form[6]

TermDefinition/examples
Financial details Information relating to an individual’s finances, for example, bank account or credit card numbers.
Tax File Number (TFN) An individual’s personal reference number in the tax and superannuation systems, issued by the Australian Taxation Office.
Identity information Information that is used to confirm an individual’s identity, such as a passport number, driver’s licence number or other government identifier.
Contact information Information that is used to contact an individual, for example, home address, phone number or email address.
Health information As defined in section 6FA of the Privacy Act. 
Other sensitive information Sensitive information, other than health information, as defined in section 6(1) of the Privacy Act. For example, sexual orientation, political or religious views.

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Footnotes

[1] A health service provider includes any entity that provides a health service within the meaning of s 6FB of the Privacy Act, regardless of annual turnover.

[2] This sector includes banks, wealth managers, financial advisors, superannuation funds and consumer credit providers (regardless of annual turnover).

[3] This sector includes private education providers only, as APP entities, and the Australian National University. Public sector education providers are bound by State and Territory privacy laws, as applicable.

[4] This sector includes employment, training and recruitment agencies, child care centres, vets and community services.

[5] A health service provider generally includes any private sector entity that provides a health service within the meaning of s 6FB of the Privacy Act, regardless of annual turnover. State or Territory public hospitals and health services are generally not covered — they are bound by State and Territory privacy laws, as applicable.

[6] OAIC’s Notifiable Data Breach Form

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Long text descriptions

Chart 1.1 — Number of data breaches reported under the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme by month — All sectors

Chart 1.1 is a bar chart showing the number of data breaches reported under the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme by month, from July 2018 to September 2018.

Month of 2018Number of notifications
July 81
August 88
September 76

Back to Chart 1.1

Chart 1.2 — Number of individuals affected by data breaches in the quarter — All sectors

Chart 1.2 is a bar chart showing the number of affected individuals. Where bands are not shown (for example, 25,001 to 50,000), there were nil reports in the period. ‘Unknown’ includes notifications by entities whose investigations were ongoing at the time of this report.

Number of affected individualsNumber of notifications
100,001 to 250,000 2
50,001 to 100,000 1
10,001 to 25,000 2
5,001 to 10,000 2
1,001 to 5,000 15
101 to 1,000 65
11 to 100 53
2 to 10 43
1 58
Unknown 4

Back to Chart 1.2

Chart 1.3 — Kinds of personal information involved in data breaches by number of notifications — All sectors

Chart 1.3 is a bar chart showing the kind of personal information involved in data breaches by number of notifications. From most to least notifications:

Kind of personal information involvedNumber of notifications
Contact information 208
Financial details 110
Identity Information 85
TFN 55
Health information 54
Other sensitive information 18

Back to Chart 1.3

Chart 1.4 — Source of data breaches by percentage — All sectors

Chart 1.4 is a pie chart showing the sources of data breaches by percentage. From most to least, they are:

  • Malicious or criminal attack: 57%
  • Human error: 37%
  • System fault: 6%

Back to Chart 1.4

Chart 1.5 — Human error breakdown — All sectors

Chart 1.5 is a bar chart that breaks down the kinds of data breaches identified as ‘human error’ in the quarter by number of notifications.

Human error typeNumber of notifications
Unauthorised disclosure (verbal) 6
Unauthorised disclosure (failure to redact) 4
Unauthorised disclosure (unintended release or publication) 14
PI sent to wrong recipient (other) 4
PI sent to wrong recipient (fax) 2
PI sent to wrong recipient (mail) 13
PI sent to wrong recipient (email) 29
Loss of paperwork/data storage device 13
Failure to use BCC when sending email 6
Insecure Disposal 1

Back to Chart 1.5

Chart 1.6 — Malicious or criminal attack breakdown — All sectors

Chart 1.6 is a bar chart that breaks down the kinds of data breaches identified as ‘malicious or criminal attack’ in the quarter by number of notifications. From least to most notifications:

Malicious or criminal attackNumber of notifications
Social engineering/impersonation 12
Rogue employee/insider threat 14
Theft of paperwork or data storage device 17
Cyber incident 96

Back to Chart 1.6

Chart 1.7 — Cyber incident breakdown — All sectors

Chart 1.7 is a pie chart that breaks down the kinds of data breaches identified as ‘malicious or criminal attack — cyber incident’ in the quarter by percentage. In order displayed:

Malicious or criminal attackPercentage
Phishing (compromised credentials) 50%
Brute-force attack (compromised credentials) 12%
Compromised or stolen credentials (method unknown) 19%
Malware 8%
Ransomware 3%
Hacking (other means) 8%

Back to Chart 1.7

Chart 1.8 — System fault breakdown — All sectors

Chart 1.8 is a bar chart that breaks down the kinds of data breaches identified as ‘system fault’ in the quarter by number of notifications. They are:

  • Unintended access: 5 notifications
  • Unintended release or publication: 9 notifications

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Chart 2.1 — Source of data breaches — Top 5 industry sectors

Chart 2.1 is a bar chart that breaks down the sources of data breaches as identified by notifying entities in the top 5 industry sectors in the quarter, by number of notifications. From least to most total notifications:

Industry sectorHuman errorMalicious or criminal attackSystem fault
Personal services 5 7 1
Education 8 7 1
Legal, Accounting & Management services 17 17 0
Finance 17 16 2
Health service providers 25 19 1

Back to Chart 2.1

Chart 2.2 — Human error breakdown — Top 5 industry sectors

Chart 2.2 is a bar chart that breaks down the kinds of data breaches identified as ‘human error’ by the top 5 industry sectors in the quarter, by number of notifications. From least to most total notifications:

Industry sectorFailure to use BCC when sending emailInsecure DisposalLoss of paperwork/data storage devicePI sent to wrong recipient (email)PI sent to wrong recipient (fax)PI sent to wrong recipient (mail)PI sent to wrong recipient (other)Unauthorised disclosure (failure to redact)Unauthorised disclosure (unintended release or publication)Unauthorised disclosure (verbal)
Personal services 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 1
Education 1 0 0 3 0 3 0 0 1 0
Legal, Accounting & Management services 1 0 4 6 0 2 2 0 2 0
Finance 0 0 3 4 0 4 0 1 3 2
Health service providers 3 0 4 4 2 4 1 1 4 2

Back to Chart 2.2

Chart 2.3 — Malicious or criminal attacks breakdown — Top 5 industry sectors

Chart 2.3 is a bar chart that breaks down the kinds of data breaches identified as ‘malicious or criminal attack’ by the top 5 industry sectors in the quarter. In the order displayed:

Industry sectorCyber incidentRogue Employee/insider threatSocial Engineering/impersonationTheft of paperwork or data storage device
Health service providers 7 3 1 8
Finance (incl superannuation) 11 1 2 2
Legal, Accounting & Management services 15 0 0 2
Education 5 1 0 1
Personal services (incl employment, child care, vets) 4 0 0 3

Back to Chart 2.3

Chart 2.4 — Cyber incident breakdown — Top 5 industry sectors

Chart 2.4 is a bar chart that breaks down the kinds of data breaches identified as ‘malicious or criminal attack — cyber incident’ by the top 5 industry sectors in the quarter. From least to most total notifications:

Industry sectorPhishing (compromised credentials)Compromised or stolen credentials (method unknown)MalwareRansomwareHackingBrute-force attack (compromised credentials)
Personal services 3 1 0 0 0 0
Education 2 3 0 0 0 0
Legal, Accounting & Management services 9 2 1 0 1 2
Finance 4 2 0 1 3 1
Health service providers 4 0 1 1 1 0

Back to Chart 2.4

Chart 2.5 — System fault breakdown — Top 5 industry sectors

Chart 2.5 is a bar chart that breaks down the kinds of data breaches identified as ‘system fault’ by the top 5 industry sectors in the quarter. The legal, accounting and management services sector did not report any data breaches that were the result of a system fault.

Industry sectorUnintended accessUnintended release or publication
Personal services 1 0
Education 0 1
Finance 1 1
Health service providers 1 0

Back to Chart 2.5

Chart 3.1 — Number of individuals affected by data breaches in the quarter — Finance sector

Chart 3.1 is a bar chart that shows the number of individuals affected by data breaches in the quarter in the Finance sector, by number of notifications. Where bands are not shown, there were nil reports in the period.

Number of affected individualsNumber of notifications
100,001 to 250,000 1
50,001 to 100,000 1
1,001 to 5,000 1
101 to 1,000 6
11 to 100 7
2 to 10 12
1 7

Back to Chart 3.1

Chart 3.2 — Source of data breaches by percentage — Finance sector

Chart 3.2 is a pie chart showing the source of data breaches by percentage in the Finance sector. From most to least, they are:

  • Human error: 48%
  • Malicious or criminal attack: 46%
  • System fault: 6%

Back to Chart 3.2

Chart 3.3 — Human error breakdown — Finance sector

Chart 3.3 is a bar chart that breaks down the kinds of data breaches identified as ‘human error’ in the Finance sector in the quarter, by number of notifications. In order of display:

Human errorNumber of notifications
Unauthorised disclosure (verbal) 2
Unauthorised disclosure (failure to redact) 1
Unauthorised disclosure (unintended release or publication) 3
PI sent to wrong recipient (mail) 4
PI sent to wrong recipient (email) 4
Loss of paperwork/data storage device 3

Back to Chart 3.3

Chart 3.4 — Malicious or criminal attacks breakdown — Finance sector

Chart 3.4 is a bar chart that breaks down the kinds of data breaches identified as ‘malicious or criminal attack’ by the finance sector in the quarter. In order of display:

Malicious or criminal attackNumber of notifications
Social Engineering/impersonation 2
Rogue Employee/insider threat 1
Theft of paperwork or data storage device 2
Cyber incident 11

Back to Chart 3.4

Chart 3.5 — Cyber incident breakdown — Finance sector

Chart 3.5 is a pie chart that breaks down the kinds of data breaches identified as ‘malicious or criminal attack — cyber incident’ by the finance sector in the quarter. In order of display:

  • Phishing (compromised credentials): 37%
  • Brute-force attack (compromised credentials): 9%
  • Compromised or stolen credentials (method unknown): 18%
  • Ransomware: 9%
  • Hacking: 27%

Back to Chart 3.5

Chart 4.1 — Number of individuals affected by breaches in the quarter — Health sector

Chart 4.1 is a bar chart that shows the number of individuals affected by breaches in the health sector, by number of notifications. Where bands are not shown, there were nil reports in the period.

Number of affected individualsNumber of notifications
10,001 to 25,000 1
1,001 to 5,000 1
101 to 1,000 9
11 to 100 11
2 to 10 5
1 16
Unknown 2

Back to Chart 4.1

Chart 4.2 — Source of data breaches by percentage — Health sector

Chart 4.2 is a pie chart that shows the source of data breaches in the health sector. In order of display:

  • Human error: 56%
  • Malicious or criminal attack: 42%
  • System fault: 2%

Back to Chart 4.2

Chart 4.3 — Human error breakdown — Health sector

Chart 4.3 is a bar chart that breaks down the kinds of data breaches identified as ‘human error’ by the health sector in the quarter. In order of display:

Human errorNumber of notifications
Unauthorised disclosure (verbal) 2
Unauthorised disclosure (unintended release or publication) 4
Unauthorised disclosure (failure to redact) 1
PI sent to wrong recipient (other) 1
PI sent to wrong recipient (mail) 4
PI sent to wrong recipient (fax) 2
Loss of paperwork/data storage device 4
PI sent to wrong recipient (email) 4
Failure to use BCC when sending email 3

Back to Chart 4.3

Chart 4.4 — Malicious or criminal attacks breakdown — Health sector

Chart 4.4 is a bar chart that breaks down the kinds of data breaches identified as ‘malicious or criminal attack’ by the health sector in the quarter. In order of display:

Malicious or criminal attackNumber of notifications
Social Engineering/impersonation 1
Rogue Employee/insider threat 3
Theft of paperwork or data storage device 8
Cyber incident 7

Back to Chart 4.4

Chart 4.5 — Cyber incident breakdown — Health sector

Chart 4.5 is a pie chart that breaks down the kinds of data breaches identified as ‘malicious or criminal attack — cyber incident’ by the health sector in the quarter. In order of display:

  • Phishing (compromised credentials): 58%
  • Malware: 14%
  • Ransomware: 14%
  • Hacking: 14%

Back to Chart 4.5

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