Australia's Optus says up to 10 million customers caught in cyber attack
Australia’s second largest telco, Optus, owned by Singapore Telecommunications Ltd, said on Friday that it will contact as many as 9.8 million customers whose personal details were taken in one of the country's biggest cybersecurity breaches.
Optus chief executive Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said she was angry and sorry that an offshore-based entity had broken into the company's database of customer information, accessing home addresses, driver's licence and passport numbers. Up to 40% of Australia's population may have been affected by the breach, but "that is the absolute worst-case scenario (and) we have reason to believe that the number is actually smaller than that", Bayer Rosmarin said.
As a major telco, Optus considered itself a target for cyber attackers and routinely repelled attempts to breach its systems but "this particular one is not similar to anything we've seen before, and unfortunately it was successful," she said.
Police and cybersecurity authorities were still investigating the attack which Optus told customers about on Thursday.