who is affected, what was taken and what should you do?

who is affected, what was taken and what should you do?

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<p><figcaption class=Director of photography: Bianca de Marchi / AAP

Australia’s second largest telecommunications company, Optus, suffered a massive data breach, with the personal information of millions of customers potentially compromised by a malicious cyber attack.

The attackers are believed to have been working for a criminal or state-sponsored organization.

Government Scamwatch, operated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, said: “If you are an Optus customer, your name, date of birth, telephone number and email addresses may have been disclosed.”

“For some customers, ID numbers such as driver’s licenses or passport numbers may be in the hands of criminals. It is important to be aware that you may be at risk of identity theft and take urgent action to prevent harm. “

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How many people are affected?

Optus was unable to reveal on Thursday how many of its 9.7 million subscribers in Australia had been compromised, but its chief executive, Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, said the number was “significant”.

“We want to be absolutely sure when we go out and tell how many,” he told ABC’s Afternoon Briefing.

“We are so deeply disappointed because we spend so much time and invest so much in preventing this from happening.

“Our teams have foiled many attacks in the past and we are very sorry that this was successful.”

What information was taken?

Optus has confirmed that customer names, dates of birth, telephone numbers and email addresses may have been discovered.

Related: Customers’ personal data is stolen as Optus suffers a massive cyber attack

Street addresses, driving license details and passport numbers of some customers were also consulted.

Optus said payment details and account passwords were not compromised and its phone services remained secure.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OIAC) warns that only a small amount of information is needed to compromise a person’s identity.

“Your identity can be stolen if a thief gains access to your personal information, even from any document that contains information about you,” says the OAIC website. “Even if a thief only gains access to a small amount of your personal information, he may be able to steal your identity if he can find out more about you from public sources. This includes social media accounts which may include your date of birth, photos, and information about your family.

“Identity fraud can involve someone using another individual’s identity to open a bank account, obtain a credit card, apply for a passport or conduct illegal business.”

How do i know if i am at risk?

Optus said it will contact any customers it believes are most at risk of being compromised by sending personal notifications and offering third-party monitoring services.

Customers who believe their data may have been compromised or have specific concerns have been asked to contact Optus via the My Optus app (the company has said this is the safest way to interact with Optus) or by calling 133 937.

Optus has stated that it will not send links in emails or SMS messages. Users should never click on a link purporting to inform them that their personal information has been compromised.

What should I do to protect my data?

Scamwatch advised Optus customers to protect their personal information by changing their online account passwords and enabling multi-factor authentication for banking transactions.

Related: Insider cyber threats pose a “significant” risk to the Australian Defense Forces, Brief warns

Affected customers should also place limits on bank accounts, monitor any unusual activity, and request a ban on credit reports if fraud is suspected.

“It is important to be aware that you may be at risk of identity theft and take urgent action to prevent harm,” Scamwatch said in a statement.

“Scammers can use your personal information to contact you by phone, SMS or email.

“Never click on links or give personal or financial information to someone who contacts you out of the blue.”

What is the government doing to help?

Interior Minister Clare O’Neil said the Australian Cyber ​​Security Center is providing technical advice and assistance to Optus and that Australian businesses and organizations have been constantly targeted by cybercriminals and hostile nations.

O’Neil said: “All Australians and Australian organizations need to strengthen their cyber defenses to protect themselves from online threats.”

The minister advised people concerned about cyberattacks to visit cyber.gov.au.

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