Photo hack affects parents
Queensland School Photography victim of scam
THOUSANDS of dollars have been scammed from Toowoomba residents after a breach of security at a school photography company.
Queensland School Photography warned parents it was the victim of hacking and credit card details has been misused.
The company said photos of students had not been accessed by the hackers, but its payment system was breached.
“Our investigations indicate that no photos have been breached - the incident appears limited to payment card information,” operations manager Thurid Cook said.
He added: “We confirmed an incident of unauthorised access affecting our website on 9 March 2017 via our payment processing provider.
“Despite having no legal obligation to do so, Queensland School Photography notified customers directly of the incident on the same day.
“On investigation, the incident appears to be limited to the payment card information of some customers input on our website.
“We are not aware of any breach in relation to any other personal information.
“We are continuing to communicate directly with our IT security consultants and our payment processing provider. A response plan is in under way. The police have been notified, and we are investigating and assessing the situation internally. We cannot comment on the progress of any ongoing investigations.”
Toowoomba residents took to social media to warn others of the hacking, and told their stories.
Parents told ABC their cards were being used for flights, accommodation and ride-sharing in locations including Europe and the US.
The company said its bank was conducting a full investigation after customers paid for school photos on their website.
The Chronicle contacted the Department of Education and Training which responded that as the company was a third party the department did not have a record of which schools might have used the company for photography.
The department referred The Chronicle to the company and police.
The Chronicle also contacted the private schools linked to the fraud, which are yet to respond.
A spokesman for Queensland Police said: “Police have received complaints in relation to this matter and are currently investigating.
“Preliminary investigations suggest that a security breach may have occurred overseas.”
Residents are urged to report scams to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network at acorn.gov.au.
“At no stage has any children’s images been at risk,” a spokesman for Queensland School Photography said.
“... our photos are ordered on a prepaid system prior to date of photography.”