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Government assists law firm for 16 weeks after cyber attack 

The Australian Government says it has coordinated assistance for law firm HWL Ebsworth for 16 weeks after it reported a cyber-incident in May that compromised the data of hundreds of motor injury insurance claimants, as well as a large number of private sector clients and 65 public entities. 

The Insurance Commission of WA (ICWA) says it is working with just over 300 affected motor injury insurance claimants, while icare says around 800 of its customers may be impacted as HWL Ebsworth held information provided to it by the NSW state insurer. 

The firm offers legal and consulting services and is known to manage litigation on insurance claims. 

“The data set is large and unstructured and includes a complex mix of different types of documents and information,” an HWL Ebsworth spokesman told 

"Clients and other potentially impacted individuals and parties will be concerned to understand what data of theirs is impacted. We are nearing completion of that process.” 

He declined to reveal whether private insurers had been affected, saying it was "not appropriate for HWL Ebsworth to provide specific comment on the content of impacted information or the identity of particular parties impacted.”  

Experts from the Australian Cyber Security Centre provided HWL Ebsworth with technical advice and assistance for four months, and investigations into the attack by the Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police will continue.  

“I have determined we have reached an appropriate juncture to conclude the formal coordinated Australian Government response to this cyber incident, with HWL Ebsworth now able to manage its response without formal assistance from the Australian Government,” National Cyber Security Coordinator Darren Goldie said. 

“I will now lead a thorough review (which) will further inform the way Australian Government, states and territories deal with future attacks.” 

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) said it was unable to say if private insurers had been affected.