Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Hundreds of classified home affairs documents believed to have been sent to unsecured addresses

A Department of Home Affairs (DHA) contractor on suspicion of illegally sending classified documents to an unsafe location was allowed to continue working in public service.

The man is accused of stripping “classified” status from files related to 500 departmental projects, before forwarding them to his personal email address for home access.

A person familiar with the “serious” breach of safety protocol told ABC that the contractor had removed the classification rating from the documents so his actions did not trigger an internal departmental alert system.

One of the man’s former aides says he had an NV1 (negative test level 1) security clearance, which allowed him continued access to view secret documents, as well as temporary, supervised access to top-secret information. Apart from

His unauthorized activity is believed to have taken place from the beginning of 2020 until the man’s contract expires in June 2021, and involving projects in the Home Affairs portfolio, including Australian Border Force data.

Senior DHA people are understood to have come to know about the breach in September last year when the organisation’s cyber security unit found that the documents were sent externally.

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The contractor was allowed to work in another federal government department after a cyber security breach.,Nation World News: Nick McBean ,

The contractor was then brought back for a meeting with the head of the department’s intelligence wing, who questioned him about the breach of security protocol, as a result of which he agreed not to take on further projects with the department.

He was later hired for contract work on project management with another large federal government department, despite several former colleagues in the DHA’s intelligence wing refusing to provide personal references.

‘Strong integrity framework exists’

A spokesperson for Home Affairs told ABC it did not comment on individual cases, but said the department has “a strong integrity framework to detect, prevent and inhibit this behavior”.

Nation World News Desk
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