Optus cyberattack exposes both current and former customers

In some cases, passport numbers, driver's licenses, and addresses were compromised. 

This story was originally published on WhistleOut Australia.

Alex Choros
Sep 23, 2022
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Optus yesterday revealed that it was hit by a cyberattack, compromising the personal information of millions of current and existing customers.

Information including name, email addresses, phone number, and date of birth may have been taken. In some cases, passport numbers, driver's licenses, and addresses were also exposed. Passwords and payment information weren’t part of the breach, however, and communications such as text messages and voice calls were not compromised. Customers on Optus MVNOs such as amaysim, gomo, and Circles.Life were not part of the breach.

Optus says it isn’t aware of any customers having suffered harm because of the breach so far, but will be getting in touch will offer third-party monitoring services. It is in the process of contacting customers who are directly impacted.

If you’re an Optus customer, keep a close eye on any sensitive accounts you have like your online banking and email. Even if passwords weren’t stolen, hackers can use personal information for identify theft, which can then be used to gain access to accounts.

In light of the breach, Optus has temporarily stopped offering SIM swaps and replacements as well as change of ownership services via its online, phone, and messaging support teams. If you need these services, you'll need to visit an Optus store with relevant ID.

Optus is also working with the Australian Cyber Security Centre to help mitigate risk, and has notified the Australian Federal Police, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, and key financial institutions.

Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin says the investigation is not yet complete, but wants customers to increase their vigilance.

"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."

Alex Choros
Written by
Alex Choros
Alex Choros is the Group Reviews Editor for Clearlink Australia's local websites - Reviews.org, Safewise, and WhistleOut - and the Managing Editor for WhistleOut Australia. He's been writing about consumer technology for over eight years and is an expert on the Australian telco sector, to the point where he knows far too many phone and internet plans by heart. He also contributes to Gizmodo and Lifehacker, and makes regular appearances on 2GB. Outside of tech, Alex loves long hikes, red wine, and death metal.

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