About 2,000 attempts to hack into the Victorian Parliament’s website were detected in a single week in April. (ABC News: Danielle Bonica)
There were nearly 6,000 attempts to hack into the Victorian Parliament’s IT systems in April alone, with the United States topping the list of source countries.
Nearly 3,000 attempts originated from the United States last month and more than 1,000 came from Japan, according to figures shared at a budget estimates hearing on Tuesday.
Only 547 attempts were detected from Australian would-be hackers.
While the United States may have concerns about Russian interference in their democratic proceedings, Russia was number nine on the list of countries from which cyber attacks on the Victorian Parliament’s IT systems were detected, with 92 attempts last month.
Lower house Speaker Colin Brooks said the cyber attacks were concerning. (Parliament of Victoria)
The hearing was told there were 2,000 efforts to hack into Parliament’s website in a single week in April.
The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Colin Brooks, said the cyber attacks were “of great concern”.
The hearing was told there are only 17 IT support staff at parliament, who do a great deal of work beyond responding to the technical problems reported by MPs.
Physical security risks increasing
Online security is not the only challenge for the parliamentary departments, and despite security upgrades at State Parliament in recent years, the number of security incidents has increased.
There have been 205 incidents at Parliament House since July last year, up from 135 the year before, the hearing was told.
Some of the items seized from visitors to the Victorian Parliament. (Supplied: Parliament of Victoria)
Nearly 12,000 items were seized by Parliament’s security staff, with 100 prohibited items referred onto police.
A slide shown to the budget hearing showed knives, knuckle dusters and handcuffs among the items seized.
Mr Brooks sought to contextualise the number of incidents.
“Bearing in mind there are over 100,000 visitors to parliament in the year, so there’s a significant number of people coming through the building,” he said.