Optus cyberattack: 9 million Australians’ data stolen in security breach

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Millions of Australians have had their personal details compromised in a major cyberattack on Optus.

The telco confirmed the data breach in a statement on Thursday afternoon, after The Australian revealed up to 9 million Aussies could be affected.

“Information which may have been exposed includes customers’ 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,” the statement said.

“Payment detail and account passwords have not been compromised.”

Nearly 2.8 million customers had all of their details taken in the attack, which is thought to have been launched through a weakness in the telco’s firewall, The Australian reported.

About 7 million people had information like their dates of birth, email addresses and phone numbers taken by the hackers.

The breach affects current and former customers of Optus.

CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said the telco acted immediately to stop any further action after learning of the attack, and authorities had been called in to assist in investigating the source.

“We are very sorry and understand customers will be concerned,” she said.

“Please be assured that we are working hard, and engaging with all the relevant authorities and organisations, to help safeguard our customers as much as possible.

“Optus has also notified key financial institutions about this matter. While we are not aware of customers having suffered any harm, we encourage customers to have heightened awareness across their accounts, including looking out for unusual or fraudulent activity and any notifications which seem odd or suspicious.”

Optus has said its services were not affected in the breach and remain safe to use, with messages and voice calls not compromised.

Optus says it will send “proactive personal notifications” to customers they identify as having “heightened risk”, but says it will not send any links in emails or SMS messages.

The telco has told customers to head to their website for information or to contact them with any concerns.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) have been notified of the incident but a referral is yet to be made.

“The AFP is aware of the incident but cannot comment further,” a spokesperson told NCA NewsWire.

More to come.

Originally published as Up to 9 million Aussies affected in major Optus data breach


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