40% of Australia’s population could have had their personal data stolen in the Optus data breach
Information that may have been obtained by the bad actors involved includes the names, dates of birth, home addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, driver’s license numbers and passport numbers of those in the database. All that is known about the data breach is that it originated from an offshore entity. Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said she was saddened and angry by the cyber attack. The company said yesterday that it is trying to reach out to “all customers to notify them of the impact, if any, of the previously announced cyber attack on their personal details.”
Optus keeps its customers informed via Twitter
“We will begin with customers whose ID document number may have been compromised, all of whom will be notified today,” Optus said in a statement. “We will notify customers who have not had any consequences lately. No passwords or financial details have been compromised.” The “sophisticated hack”, as the data breach was referred to by Optus, did not appear to affect business customers.
The authorities are investigating a possible lead. Sydney Morning Herald published a story yesterday that Optus received an extortion threat demanding it pay $1 million in cryptocurrency or the hackers would sell the personal information belonging to millions of customers. The Australian Federal Police told Reuters it is aware of reports that on the “dark web” and through other sources, Optus customer data and other “credentials” are available for purchase.
Optus subscribers should check their accounts for any strange or suspicious activity
The tweet said: “While we are not aware of any harm to customers, we encourage you to have a heightened awareness across your accounts, including being aware of unusual or fraudulent activity, as well as any messages that may seem strange or suspicious.” Optus currently has around 5.8 million active users, representing 21% of Australia’s
population. Telstra is the largest wireless provider in the country with close to 20 million subscribers.
Emm added: “Nevertheless, customers should be aware of any fraudulent activity they see and should protect their online accounts with unique, complex passwords and by using two-factor authentication.”