Australia’s Optus says up to 10 million customers caught in cyberattacks

Australia’s Optus says up to 10 million customers caught in cyberattacks

A woman uses her mobile phone as she walks past an Optus store in Sydney, Australia, on February 8, 2018. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz/File photo

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SYDNEY, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Australia’s No. 2 telecoms company Optus, owned by Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (STEL.SI), said it will contact up to 10 million customers whose personal details were taken in a hack. “sophisticated,” but added that no corporate clients were compromised.

Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said she was angry and sorry that a foreign-based entity had broken into the company’s customer information database, accessing home addresses, driver’s licenses and passport numbers. in one of the country’s largest cybersecurity breaches.

As many as 9.8 million accounts may be compromised, which is equivalent to 40% of Australia’s population, but “that’s a worst case scenario (and) we have reason to believe the number is actually less than that,” Bayer Rosmarin said.

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Bayer Rosmarin said corporate customers did not appear to be affected and there was no indication the attacker took customers’ bank account details or passwords. Police and cybersecurity authorities were still investigating the attack that Optus reported to customers on Thursday.

“We will specifically identify which customers (were affected) and proactively contact each customer with clear explanations of which of their data has been exposed and taken,” Bayer Rosmarin said in an online press briefing on Friday.

“I am angry that there are people who want to do this to our customers. I am disappointed that we could not have prevented it … and I am very sorry,” she added.

He declined to give details of how the attacker breached the company’s security, citing an ongoing criminal investigation, but noted that the attacker’s IP address, a computer’s unique identifier, appeared to move between unspecified countries in Europe.

As a major telecommunications company, Optus considered itself a target for cyber attackers and routinely repelled attempts to breach its systems, but “this particular one is unlike anything we’ve seen before, and unfortunately it was successful,” he said. .

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Information from Byron Kaye; Edited by Lincoln Fest.

Our standards: the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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