The Smith Family Cyber-Attack Raises Concerns For Aussies Experiencing Mental Health Issues

Will people turn away from help?

Article heading image for The Smith Family Cyber-Attack Raises Concerns For Aussies Experiencing Mental Health Issues

Australian children's charity The Smith Family has been the latest target of a cyber-attack.

The Smith Family has confirmed details of donors may have been compromised while an attacker attempted to steal money from the charity. 

In a statement, the charity confirmed the hacker's attempts were unsuccessful, some names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and donation records may have been accessed. They confirmed The Smith Family doesn't store middle digits, expiry dates or CVV numbers on their system for security reasons. 

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The statement confirmed there was no evidence of misuse of the information so far:

"While there is no current evidence of misuse of any individual’s personal information, we are informing individuals about the incident and providing simple steps to protect their information and avoid any potential scams.

We are also contacting individuals whose personal information was not accessed and are not directly affected by this incident as we want to communicate transparently to our supporters."

The Smith Family, which supports disadvantaged children and students’ education, has yet to reveal how many donors have been affected.


It comes as experts’ express concerns that last month’s cyber-attack on Medibank could be discouraging those needing mental health support from reaching out.

SANE CEO Rachel Green says she's concerned that the recent spate of data hacks will turn more people away from seeking help.

"We know that one-in-five Australians experience a mental health issue in any given year and over 50 per cent of the people with mental health issues don't actually seek help for it because they are worried about how they'll be treated and how they'll be perceived.

"I'm really concerned that this growing trend of data leaks actually stops even more people from seeking help," she said.


Mental health challenges such as anxiety and depression in recent years have become a mainstream conversation, with over two-in-five Australians aged 16-85 years, or 8.6 million people, had experienced a mental disorder at some time in their life.

While complex mental health issues, including schizophrenia, bipolar, personality disorders, eating disorders, OCD, PTSD, severe depression and anxiety affect over 4 million Australians.

If you, or anyone you know needs help, call SANE on 1800 187 263, or call lifeline 13 11 14.

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Triple M Newsroom

23 November 2022

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Triple M Newsroom

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