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Optus, Australia’s second-largest telecoms operator, says customer data exposed in data breach • TechCrunch


Australian telecommunications giant Optus has confirmed that its customers’ data was stolen following a cyberattack on its systems.

Optus said in a press release on Thursday that an unknown number of customer names, dates of birth, phone numbers, email addresses and addresses and identification document numbers, such as driver’s license or passport numbers, were caught in the violation.

The phone company did not say when the breach occurred, but it believes the incident is over.

Optus is a subsidiary of Singapore-owned SingTel and is Australia’s second-largest telecommunications company with approximately 10 million customers.

Australia’s Signals Directorate, the national equivalent of the US National Security Agency, has been notified of the incident.

Telecommunications, telephony and mobile phone giants are a frequent target due to their role in any country’s critical infrastructure. State-sponsored hackers are known to break into telecom carriers looking for phone records to spy on critics and conduct espionage, while criminal hackers, such as SIM card swappers , often rely on hacked data and insider access to carry out social engineering attacks that convince customer support or employees to give up access to their systems.

Optus is the latest major telco hit by hackers in recent years. In 2015, Australian telephone company Telstra said its undersea cable company Pacnet’s internal network had been compromised for weeks, with hackers accessing its email and other internal business systems.

In the United States, T-Mobile disclosed its seventh network breach earlier this year, after hackers from the Lapsus$ cybercrime group stole the telecom operator’s source code. Last year, the second largest mobile operator in the United States said that at least 47 million customers had their personal information stolen by hackers.


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