Australia’s second-largest telecommunications provider, Optus, has revealed it suffered a cyber attack that may have accessed customer data. However, the company said the attack did not affect the platforms and services supporting wholesale, satellite and enterprise customers, as well as those of enterprise customers. Mobile and home internet services are also unaffected.

Suspicious activity was spotted on Wednesday, with Optus issuing a media statement on Thursday afternoon, which was a public holiday.

What Optus knows about the breach

The current 9.8 million “potentially” affected customers are the worst-case scenario, Optus chief executive Kelly Bayer Rosmarin told a media conference on Friday. This equates to around 37% of Australia’s population. In its latest financial report, Optus revealed it had more than 10 million mobile customers as of March 31, 2022.

Not only are current Optus mobile users affected, the company said even former customers’ data dating back to 2017 may have been accessed in the cyberattack.

No financial data and no passwords or images of customer documents were stolen in the cyberattack, Bayer Rosmarin said. What Optus believes has been accessed by cyberattacks so far includes names, dates of birth, phone numbers, email addresses and, for a subset of customers, addresses, ID numbers such as driving license or passport numbers .

Optus works with the Australian Cyber ​​Security Centre

Upon discovery, Optus immediately terminated the attack and notified the Australian Federal Police (AFP), the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and key regulatory authorities, and worked with the Australian Cyber ​​Security Center to mitigate risks to customers.

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