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ACCC advice about websites data breach: SSO Alert Priority High

15 April 2014

The ACCC has released a statement advising subscribers about a breach of data collected from websites including SCAMwatch, Recalls Australia, Product Safety Australia and the ACCC Public Registers website.

It has provided the following information:

The ACCC became aware on 11 April 2014 of a breach of personal data collected from some of its websites. The affected websites are Recalls Australia, Product Safety Australia, SCAMwatch and the ACCC Public Registers website.

The email addresses of some subscribers to the ACCC’s information alert services were inadvertently made accessible online. They were not indexed by search engines or linked from a web page on our sites. They could only be found if specific URLs were tried.

The ACCC resolved this issue as soon as it became of aware of it.

As you have subscribed to an alert on one of the affected websites, we are informing you that your email address may have been publicly available from our website if an intentional attempt was made to access it.

We sincerely apologise to you and any other affected users. The ACCC takes the issue of privacy, including any breaches, very seriously.

We are currently investigating how this issue occurred and have reported the breach to the Office of Australian Information Commissioner.

Scammers may send emails purporting to be from the ACCC in attempts to gain personal or financial information. If you have any doubts about an email's source, verify the sender by independent means - use their official contact details to check the email is legitimate before clicking on links or opening attachments.

If you need to contact us regarding this email, please call the ACCC Infocentre on 1300 302 502.

More information

Stay Smart Online regularly distributes content from the ACCC, particularly SCAMwatch. Stay Smart Online subscriber information is not related to this incident and is not affected.


Thank you to those subscribers who have provided feedback to our Alerts and Newsletters. We are very interested in your feedback and where possible take on board your suggestions or requests.


This information has been prepared by Enex TestLab for the Department of Communications ('the Department'). It was accurate and up to date at the time of publishing.

This information is general information only and is intended for use by private individuals and small to medium sized businesses. If you are concerned about a specific cyber security issue you should seek professional advice.

The Commonwealth, Enex TestLab, and all other persons associated with this advisory accept no liability for any damage, loss or expense incurred as a result of the provision of this information, whether by way of negligence or otherwise.

Nothing in this information (including the listing of a person or organisation or links to other web sites) should be taken as an endorsement of a particular product or service.

Please note that third party views or recommendations included in this information do not reflect the views of the Commonwealth, or indicate its commitment to a particular course of action. The Commonwealth also cannot verify the accuracy of any third party material included in this information.


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