Huge changes coming in the wake of the Optus hack.
Home addresses and government identification documents such as passports, health insurance and driver’s license numbers may also have been stolen for a small percentage of customers. Stealing these official IDs is a big deal, as hackers can impersonate you when signing up for loans or other financial services. Identity theft can have serious consequences for your finances and credit score.
Australia’s second-largest telecommunications provider said details of current and former customers were stolen, including names, dates of birth, home addresses, phone and email contact details, as well as passport and driver’s license numbers. It stressed that payment details and account passwords had not been compromised.
Optus estimates the data of as many as 9.8 million Australians may have been compromised by the attack, with 2.8 million severely affected. Optus also found 14,900 valid Medicare numbers in the disclosed records, as well as 10,000 users with highly sensitive personal information, such as disclosed passport numbers. Optus claims it has now notified the most affected customers of their involvement in the attack, but some lesser affected customers may not have been notified as only their emails and names were leaked. Customers who care about their data can securely contact the telco directly through the My Optus app.
Optus has been criticised for not sharing info but they said it was illegal to do so.
Optus executives warned back in 2017 that attacks were affecting customers, so even former Optus users should take note. Interestingly, some customers who have left Optus since 2012 claim they were involved, although these claims have not been substantiated.
Optus estimates that as many as 9.8 million Australians were affected by the attack, with 2.8 million severely affected (including 17,000 active and unexpired health insurance numbers). Optus is contacting current and former customers to let them know if their data has been compromised as a result of the breach.
Optus claims to continue to advise and support customers affected by the data breach, including those dating back to 2017.