‘The absolute nerve of them’: Aussies left fuming over Optus data breach

Sep 26, 2022
An apology from Optus regarding the data breach did little to placate the millions impacted. Source: Getty Images.

Following a large-scale data breach, millions of Optus customers across the country are at increased risk of having their personal information stolen with an estimated 9 million people thought to be impacted.

The information which could have been compromised and stolen includes customers’ names, dates of birth, phone numbers, email addresses, and in some instances address details, and ID document numbers such as driver’s licence or passport numbers.

Optus stressed that payment details and account passwords have not been compromised as the telco scrambles to secure the information of millions of its customers.

Following the breach, Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said “we are devastated to discover that we have been subject to a cyberattack that has resulted in the disclosure of our customer’s personal information to someone who shouldn’t see it”.

“As soon as we knew, we took action to block the attack and began an immediate investigation. While not everyone maybe affected and our investigation is not yet complete, we want all of our customers to be aware of what has happened as soon as possible so that they can increase their vigilance,” Rosmarin said.

“We are very sorry and understand customers will be concerned. 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’ apology did little to placate the millions impacted by the data breach who were left furious that their personal information had been compromised and who took to social media to vent their frustration.

Following the breach, Scamwatch alerted customers as to what to be on the lookout for when it comes to unusual activity and what can be done if personal information has been compromised.

Scamwatch advised Optus customers to “take immediate steps to secure all of their accounts, particularly their bank and financial accounts” and “monitor for unusual activity on your accounts and watch out for contact by scammers”.

In order to protect personal information, Scamwatch suggests changing online account passwords and enable multi-factor authentication (particularly for online banking), check accounts for unusual purchases, and placing spending limits on bank accounts.

Those who are concerned that their personal information has been stolen are urged to contact their bank immediately and call IDCARE on 1800 595 160.

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