Auditor-General’s hack finds Victorian patient health data ‘highly vulnerable’

Victoria’s Auditor-General has hacked into some of the state’s biggest health databases and exposed serious weaknesses in cybersecurity, which could put patient data at risk.

Auditors used “basic hacking tools” to access sensitive patient data at Barwon Health, the Royal Children’s Hospital and the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital to demonstrate “the significant and present risk to the security of patient data and hospital services”.

The hackers also examined how two parts of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Digital Health Branch and Health Technology Solutions, were supporting health services.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said the Government was “serious about safeguarding hospital data”, and pointed to $33 million allocated to strengthening cybersecurity capability and an additional $13 million for digital infrastructure in the recent budget.

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