Svitzer employee details stolen in data breach affecting almost half of its Australian employees

The shipping company Svitzer has suffered a significant data breach affecting almost half its Australian employees.

It is among the first incidents to be disclosed under Australia’s new notifiable data breaches scheme.

For almost 11 months, emails from three Australian employee email accounts were secretly auto-forwarded outside the company. The perpetrator has not yet been identified.

The hack, which began May 27 last year, affected accounts in finance, payroll and operations.

Svitzer’s head of communications, Nicole Holyer, said the company stopped the email theft after being alerted on March 1 this year.

Forensic IT experts have been called in to investigate.

The sensitive personal information of around 500 employees was affected. Svitzer employs about 1,000 people in Australia.

Lost details may have included tax file numbers, superannuation account numbers and the names of next of kin.

Staff are being informed of the breach today.

“Our absolute priority is our employees. We are offering the highest levels of support to those affected,” Steffen Risager, managing director of Svitzer Australia, said in a statement.

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