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Judo Bank impacted by HWL Ebsworth cyber attack

Local neobank Judo Bank has revealed that some of its data have been affected by the cyber attack on BigLaw firm HWL Ebsworth.

user iconDavid Hollingworth and Jerome Doraisamy 04 August 2023 Big Law
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Editor’s note: This story first appeared on Lawyers Weekly’s sister brand, Cyber Security Connect.

In early May, BigLaw firm HWL Ebsworth revealed that hackers were claiming to have accessed a “significant amount” of data.

It subsequently emerged that the ransomware attack was carried out by the Russian threat actor ALPHV – also known as BlackCat. The hackers exfiltrated a trove of client data, which led to the compromise of data belonging to more than 40 government departments, Australia’s big four banks, and Optus, among others.


As reported by Lawyers Weekly, the Queensland and Tasmanian state governments are among those clients whose data may have been breached.

Now, another Australian business has revealed it may have had data compromised.

Judo Bank has said that, despite only using HWL Ebsworth for legal services for a short time, it has nonetheless been impacted.

Like the other victims of the hack – such as the Fair Work Ombudsman, Airline Rex, and various Australian government agencies – Judo Bank’s regular operations and systems remain unaffected.

In mid-June, Lawyers Weekly detailed HWL Ebsworth’s plan to manage the attack.

Late last month, Lawyers Weekly’s sister brand, Cyber Security Connect, released a podcast episode discussing the response of Australia’s new national cyber security coordinator to the attack on the BigLaw firm.

The bank is currently contacting those whose data has been compromised.

“Judo Bank has provisionally, and where required, contacted our customers and employees who we understand may have been impacted by this incident,” the bank said in a statement. “Judo Bank is continuing to work with HWLE to ensure affected individuals are formally notified under the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme.”

“We would like to assure our customers who do not receive any direct notification regarding this incident that there is no action they need to take.”

Judo Bank focuses on small to medium enterprises, having lent about $1 billion to businesses as of 2020. The bank also has another billion in digital retail term deposits.

Australia’s new national cyber security coordinator said in July that managing the HWL Ebsworth hack is one of his top priorities.

“My first order of business as national cyber security coordinator was to seek briefings from the Department of Home Affairs and HWL Ebsworth on the status of the response to the cyber incident,” said Air Marshal Darren Goldie in a statement, who was appointed to the role in June.

“I am actively engaging with HWL Ebsworth to understand the complete picture of this incident, including how their private industry clients have been impacted, as the data analysis continues.”

One month ago, HWL Ebsworth promoted 72 of its lawyers to more senior roles, including seven to partner.

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