Around 10 million Australians had their personal information exposed by hackers on Thursday, including passport and driver’s licence numbers, email and residential addresses, dates of birth, and phone numbers.
Customers of Optus should exercise caution, according to Alastair MacGibbon, chief strategy officer of the cyber-security company CberCX and a former adviser to the prime minister.
He informed the ABC that “personal information has been taken.”
‘A lot of personal data for a number of million individuals and a little less data for another 6 million or so.
They need to check to see if somebody is imitating them, stealing their identity, attempting to get credit in their name, etc.
He said that by investing in credit monitoring, Optus could protect the interests of its clients.
If someone has been using your identity and other data to acquire credit, you will be tracked by credit monitoring agencies, Mr. MacGibbon said.
The cyber specialist expressed concern that thieves would find the personal data amassed by a major organisation to be lucrative.
Any organisation that collects a lot of information is at danger of this kind of catastrophe happening, he added, since collecting a lot of information makes it more valuable.
It looks like client data theft is the issue here.
By Australian standards, the infringement was “quite substantial,” according to Mr. MacGibbon.
I’m going to assume that the Optus database, which is really important, because my understanding is that it has affected roughly 9 million individuals.
Although uncommon, a creature of this size may exist in a country like Australia.
One piece of “good news” stood out.
Although it’s not fantastic that information has been taken or accessed, it seems that Optus’s networks are working, stated Mr. MacGibbon.
Authorities and the telecom are still looking, so it is yet unknown what the hackers were wanting.
He said that “they” (Optus) “could have already been approached by crooks.”
“We may not always be aware of the motivations.”
Despite the size of the assault, Mr. MacGibbon did not necessarily believe that skilled hackers were behind it.
He speculated that it may be a well organised criminal gang.
It may be a less skilled criminal organisation, someone might have found a weakness, or Optus hadn’t done anything that, in retrospect, it should have.
Nation governments have sometimes participated in this kind of action as well.
Optus is now looking into the entire scope of information obtained, how much had been taken, and how it occurred.
They will need to explain how this happened to many different stakeholders, including government authorities, according to Mr. MacGibbon.
Since the law has been in existence for a while, they will definitely have to notify this to the Privacy Commissioner, and they will collaborate closely with the Australian Cyber-Security Centre and law enforcement organisations.
Hackers allegedly exploited a hole in Optus’ firewall to get access, and after doing so, they took the personal information of 2.8 million users, including their passport and driver’s licence numbers, email and home addresses, dates of birth, and phone numbers.
Their phone numbers, email addresses, and dates of birth were taken from the remaining seven million people.
Kelly Rosmarin, chief executive officer of Optus, said that the business was collaborating with the Australian Federal Police to look into the assault.
In a statement, she added, “We are heartbroken to learn that we have been the target of a hack that has led to the leaking of our customers’ personal information to someone who shouldn’t access it.”
As soon as we became aware, we acted to thwart the assault and launched an urgent inquiry. We want all of our clients to be informed of what has occurred as quickly as possible so that they may improve their vigilance, even if not everyone may be impacted and our investigation is not yet finished.
“We sincerely apologise and recognise that consumers may be worried. We are working hard to protect our clients as much as we can, and we are collaborating with all the necessary authorities and organisations.
Although she insisted that consumers’ payment information was secure, she gave them the advice to monitor their bank accounts for any unusual activity.
Optus has also informed important banking institutions about this issue. Although we are not aware of any damage being done to consumers, we urge them to be more vigilant about their accounts and watch out for any alerts that appear off or suspicious as well as any unusual or fraudulent behaviour.
Voice calls, text messaging, and home and mobile internet are unaffected.
Customers of Optus, both past and present, have been affected.