HPE storage meltdown at Australian Tax Office lost no taxpayer data

But online services were down for days so maybe some tax office data is AWOL

Australian Parliament House Canberra

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has revealed that no taxpayer data was lost as a result of the weird crash of Hewlett Packard Enterprise 3Par storage kit.

The ATO described the Monday outage as the result of a never-before-experienced problem that HPE was working to fix. The Register understands a 3Par storage rig was to blame, with both operational and disaster recovery rigs felled. Rival storage vendors certainly think so and are enjoying watching HPE squirm, if the content of Reg inboxes is any indicator.

Whatever the cause of the mess, it took down major ATO services used by accountants and tax agents, leaving them unable to lodge clients' tax details and ATO staff twiddling their thumbs as work queues emptied. The main ato.gov.au site has also wobbled, a major embarrassment for the ATO and for Australia's government as it attempts to encourage the nation to interact with government in a low-cost online and supposedly efficient online environment.

The one ray of sunshine in the situation is confirmation that “no taxpayer data has been lost.”

“We have done what we can to restore priority services and acknowledge there is a significant amount of work to stabilise our IT environment and bring remaining applications back online,” says the office's Thursday morning update.

The ATO's statements do not rule out the possibility that some of its own data has been lost. Which could explain problems getting services back online. The Register has asked HPE for comment and, when none was forthcoming, also asked HPE if it intends to comment and if so when. We've had no response to those queries. ®

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