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What to Do If You Have Been Affected by an Optus Cyberattack

This Australian Federal Police have launched a “complex criminal investigation” after a massive hacking attack against Optus that compromised millions of customers. A statement said that today the AFP received a referral from Optus about an alleged mass data breach. To conduct this complex criminal investigation, the AFP will work with Optus to obtain critical information and evidence necessary. The AFP’s specialist cyber command will work closely with several agencies. This includes the Australian Signals Directorate as well. AFP urges all Australians to tighten their online security. This will help them to prevent falling victim to scams and malware. When the passport and driver’s license numbers were revealed to be among the data stolen in a massive hacking incident, then the news came.

Optus customers who may have had their data stolen were urged to do the following things:

  • Beware of potential scam calls
  • Consider password strengthening and other online security measures
  • In the coming days, look out for more information from Optus

On Friday, in a conference call with reporters, Optus chief executive Kelly Bayer-Rosmarin apologized for the cyber intrusion and told: “it should not have happened”. She also said that she is very disappointed that they could not prevent it and it underpins all the great work they do to be pioneers in the industry, challengers, and create new and beautiful experiences for their customers. For all of this, she is so sorry.

Ms. Bayer-Rosmarin acknowledged that cyber breaches can have far-reaching consequences for both personal and small business customers. In an “absolute worst case scenario” 9.8 million customers were affected. But, Ms. Bayer-Rosmarin warned that the authorities were still investigating the breach and also the full impact was unknown.

The unconfirmed screen-grab from a dark web hacker forum indicates that the cybercriminals claim to have accessed 1 million Optus phone numbers. Ms. Baier-Rosmarin urged consumers to be on the lookout for suspicious communications in the near future. She thinks that the hackers can access stolen data and will be using it to make scam calls. She said that the passwords and financial details were not compromised. But, other sensitive information was stolen.

Brett Callow who is a threat analyst with the cyber security firm Emsisoft told that all companies should do what they can to minimize the collection of personal data. He also told that it is good practice for companies to collect only the information they absolutely need to collect and retain it for further use.

In the coming days, the customers who have been affected by this cyberattack will be contacted by Optus.


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