01.Centrelink goes offline
A Centrelink computer failure has left consumers seeking child support and other services empty-handed amid concerns that government systems are outdated and vulnerable to attack.
Responding to a consumer inquiry on its Facebook page, the Department of Human Services said the matter is “under urgent investigation”.
Centrelink’s Income Security Integrated System is reportedly responsible for delivering $400 million in social security payments every working day. The agency’s ISIS model 204 mainframe computer relies on 1980s technology and has been targeted for a multi-billion dollar upgrade, an expenditure that is expected to consume a significant portion of the upcoming federal budget should the upgrade go forward.
The Centrelink failure comes on the heels of a recent Commonwealth Bank computer breakdown and warnings by Microsoft that banks around the world need to upgrade their Windows XP software or risk ATM security breaches and failures.
Microsoft announced it was planning to end support for Windows XP in 2007, but only about a third of the world’s ATMs met the April deadline to upgrade according to IT industry publications. Banks have negotiated with Microsoft to continue supporting the software until the upgrades are complete.