Home SecurityData Breach A third of Australian population likely affected in Optus cyberattack

A third of Australian population likely affected in Optus cyberattack

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Australia’s second largest telecommunications provider, Optus, revealed it suffered a cyberattack where data from customers have possibly been accessed. However, the company claims the attack has not affected the platforms and services supporting wholesale, satellite and enterprise customers, and that of enterprise customers. Mobile and home internet services have also not been affected.

Suspicious activity was noticed on Wednesday with Optus issuing a media statement on Thursday afternoon, which was a nation-wide public holiday.

What Optus knows about the breach

The 9.8 million number of “possibly” affected customers circulating is the worst-case scenario, said Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin at a media conference on Friday. That is the equivalent to about 37% of the Australian population. In its most recent financial report, Optus revealed it had over 10 million mobile customers as of 31 March 2022.

Not only have the current Optus mobile users been affected, the company said data of even former customers dating back as far as 2017 may have been accessed in the cyberattack.

No financial data was accessed and no passwords, nor any images of any customers’ documents were stolen in the cyberattack, said Bayer Rosmarin. What Optus believes to have been accessed by cyberattacks at this point includes names, dates of birth, phone numbers, email addresses, and, for a subset of customers, addresses, ID document numbers such as driver’s licence or passport numbers.  

Optus is working with Australian Cyber Security Centre

Upon discovery, Optus immediately shut down the attack and notified the Australian Federal Police (AFP), the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and key regulators and it is working with Australian Cyber Security Centre to mitigate risks to customers.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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