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Australia’s top telecom company hacked, 10m subscribers compromised

Australia's top telecom company hacked, 10m subscribers compromised
A woman uses her mobile phone as she walks past in front of an Optus shop in Sydney, Australia, February 8, 2018. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz/File Photo

A significant attack on the second-largest provider in Australia may have exposed sensitive information of almost 10 million of its customers, Optus company revealed on Friday.

According to the Chief executive officer of Optus, Kelly Rosmarin a “sophisticated” adversary was responsible for a breach that gave hackers access to data on 9.8 million consumers.

Customers’ names, birth dates, phone numbers, and email addresses, as well as some license and passport numbers, were among the information that was accessed.

The Singapore-owned company, however, stated that no bank account information or passwords were compromised.

No ransom demand yet, according to Bayer Rosmarin, and it is yet unclear whether the attack was carried out by a state-based or criminal organization.

“It’s too early to rule out any possibility,” she said, adding that police and the Australian government have started investigation.

“We don’t yet know who these attackers are and what they want to do with this information.”

The number of Australians who could have been affected by the hack amounts to nearly half of the country’s population and have been alerted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that they might be at danger of identity theft.

“Optus customers should take immediate steps to secure all of their accounts, particularly their bank and financial accounts. You should also monitor for unusual activity on your accounts and watch out for contact by scammers,” the watchdog said.

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