Optus, the Australian unit of telecommunications company Singapore Telecommunications, said it has blocked the unauthorized access of customer data including home addresses, driver’s license and passport numbers, na a cyber attack.
Wireless carrier Optus said in a statement Thursday that it immediately halted the attack after discovering it, and that payment information and account passwords had not been compromised.
Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said the company Australian Federal Police after noticing “unusual activity”.
Bayer Rosmarin told UKTN television that the company will contact high-risk customers “quite soon” and apologized for the incident.
She said names, dates of birth and contact details had been accessed, “in some cases” the driver’s license number and in “a rare number of cases the passport and mailing address” had also been exposed.
Researchers are “trying to understand who accessed the data and for what purpose,” she said.
“Optus is working with the Australian Cyber Security Center to mitigate any risks to customers,” Optus said in a statement on its website.
Bayer Rosmarin said Optus had put all customers on edge as a precaution.
The Australian newspaper reported that up to 9 million customers may have been affected. Optus told Reuters it was unable to confirm the number of customers affected and continued the investigation.
“Optus has also informed major financial institutions about this. While we are not aware of customers who have suffered harm, we encourage customers to raise awareness about their accounts, including looking out for unusual or fraudulent activity and reports that appear strange or suspicious,” the statement said. optus statement added.
“It’s a significant breach of Australian standards,” said the former National Cybersecurity adviser, Alistair MacGibbon, told UKTN television.
(Reporting by Kirsty Needham and Tejaswi Marthi and Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru; editing by Devika Syamnath and Raju Gopalakrishnan)
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