16 December 2014

Alert Priority High

People are advised to be wary of hoax messages circulating on social media in the wake of yesterday’s incident at Martin Place in the Sydney CBD.

Responding to a social media post suggesting that ISIS planned an attack in Sydney over Christmas or New Year, NSW Police today tweeted under the hashtags ‘#mythbuster’ and ‘#hoaxalert’ that it had received ‘no such reports’. The police also branded the post as ‘FALSE’.

The social media post (including its original grammatical and spelling mistakes) read "My brother in law found a wallet on the ground about 1-2 months ago. He told me that he called the number the could find inside the wallet and the person who came to collect looked like one of the isis members. When he collected his wallet he told him here is a tip don’t go to sydney in new years eve or maybe Christmas ".

Some Twitter commenters suggested the post was a variation on a hoax that had been circulating online for several years.

To remain accurately informed about the Martin Place incident or any associated activities, people are advised to rely on information from official and reputable sources.

More information

The NSW Police tweet is available here.

Stay Smart Online also has information about avoiding hoaxes and scams here.

The information provided here is of a general nature. Everyone's circumstances are different. If you require specific advice you should contact your local technical support provider.


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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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