Court Services Victoria (CSV) in Australia has recently disclosed a cybersecurity incident that occurred on December 21, 2023 [3]. This incident involved hackers gaining unauthorized access to the court system’s audio-visual archive, potentially compromising recordings of sensitive court hearings [1], including witness testimonies [1].


The breach occurred between November 1 and December 21, 2023 [3], with the possibility of earlier hearings being affected as well. The County Court and Supreme Court were the most severely impacted [1], with criminal and civil hearings potentially accessed [1]. However, the Children’s Court remained uncompromised [1], except for one hearing from October that may have remained on the network [1].

The breach has serious implications for the administration of justice [2], as it could lead to the release of witness evidence and private details of sexual assault victims. This breach could have dire consequences for the individuals involved.

Immediate action was taken by CSV to isolate and disable the affected network, ensuring the continued operation of the court system. CSV is currently working with cybersecurity experts to investigate and respond to the breach [3]. They are also in the process of notifying individuals whose court appearances may have been accessed and have established a dedicated contact center for those affected. Collaboration with IDCARE is also underway to provide support to individuals concerned about the breach.

The attack is suspected to be a Russian phishing attack using ransomware known as Qilin [1]. It is worth noting that other Australian companies and institutions, such as Yakult Australia [1], Optus [1], Medibank [1], and St Vincent’s Health network [1], have also experienced high-profile cyber attacks [1].

Fortunately, the breach did not compromise any other court systems or records [3], including employee or financial data [3]. The focus of CSV is on ensuring the safety of its systems and notifying individuals who may have been affected [3].

Police are currently investigating the breach [2], and court hearings are expected to proceed in January after CSV’s immediate action to isolate and disable the affected network [2].


This incident highlights the urgent need for stronger data protection regulations in Australia [2]. The potential release of sensitive court recordings and personal information underscores the importance of robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard the administration of justice. Moving forward, it is crucial for organizations and institutions to prioritize cybersecurity and take proactive steps to prevent such breaches from occurring in the future.