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Australia's Channel 9 hit by cyber attack during live broadcast

A separate IT outage at Australia's Parliament House sparks fears of a coordinated attack

The headquarters for Australia's Channel 9 TV station

A live broadcast by Australia's Channel Nine TV station was taken offline by a cyber attack on Sunday evening, the station has confirmed.

The incident affected several shows, including the Weekend Today programme, according to the BBC, with staff now working from home until further notice.

In a statement, the organisation said its IT teams were working "around the clock" to fully restore its services and that the attack also affected its corporate business units, its websites, and email systems.

Australia's shadow treasurer, Jim Chalmers, told reporters: "These are very concerning reports. What we're hearing about here is a serious, and sophisticated, targeted attack on a media organisation."

The attack on Channel Nine coincided with "technical disruption" at Australia's Parliament House where MPs and senators lost email access over the weekend. The issue was related to an unnamed external provider, according to the country's minister for defence, Andrew Hastie.

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As a precaution, the service was cut off from the rest of the government's systems as soon as it was detected and Australia's Cyber Security Centre has been brought in to investigate. At this stage, it isn't clear whether the parliamentary outage and the cyber attack on Channel Nine were connected.

"This is a timely reminder that Australians cannot be complacent about their cyber security," Hastie told News.com.au on Sunday. "Cyber security is a team effort and a shared responsibility. It is vital that Australian businesses and organisations are alert to this threat and take the necessary steps to ensure our digital sovereignty."

Hastie added that Australia saw around 60,000 reports of cyber security and cyber crime incidents last year, roughly one every ten minutes, he said.

Despite the issues, Channel Nine's broadcast was back up on Monday.

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