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Optus suffered a major data breach this week, with cyber criminals hacking into the database of the telecommunications company and gaining access to approximately the personal information of nine million customers nationwide.
Accessing passport details, licence numbers, emails, home addresses, dates of birth, and telephone numbers, Optus has confirmed around 2.8 million customers have definitely been affected.
Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin spoke out said: “We are devastated to discover that we have been subject to a cyberattack that has resulted in the disclosure of our customers’ personal information to someone who shouldn’t see it."
Australian Consumer and Competition Commission deputy chair Delia Rickard told Channel Nine that the breach has provided hackers with enough details to commit identity fraud on at least 10 per cent of Australia’s population.
“These are all the things that you need for identity theft and also all the things you need to personalise a scam and make it much more convincing,” she said.
The telecommunications giant is still investigating the cause and source of the breach, along with the data that was obtained. Former Australian Federal Police officer and cyber security expert Nigel Phair has spoken to ABC news, stating: “ There's been a weakness somewhere and invariably that weakness, from what we've seen normally, is from a human.”
Over the coming days, Optus intends to contact all customers to inform them if their data has been compromised or not.
In the meantime, Optus customers are urged to secure all accounts.
They've been told to enable Two Factor Authentication to strengthen security and increase the difficulty in which hackers and scammers can access your accounts.
Be on the lookout for any unusual activity in your online behaviour and records and inform the less technologically capable people in your life of the risks and tricks to watch out for when it comes to cyber criminals.