The Minister For Cyber Security Has Absolutely Ripped Into Optus After Data Breach
"We should not have a telecommunications provider in this country which has effectively left the window open for data of this nature to be stolen."
A Labor MP has ripped into Optus after a major data breach that impacted at least 9.8 million customers last week.
Minister for Cyber Security and Home Affairs, Clare O’Neil went on ABC’s 7.30 on Monday to respond to the major security crisis.
Nearly 10 million Australians have had their data stolen from Optus.
— Clare O'Neil MP (@ClareONeilMP) September 27, 2022
The hacker collated a mass of personal details — including passport numbers, home addresses, driver’s license details, and Medicare numbers — reportedly demanding a $1 million ransom, and posting 10,000 records online on Tuesday.
Optus users have expressed dismay at the handling of the situation from the telecommunication provider, receiving no concrete advice or assistance through the customer service avenues.
O’Neil told 7.30 host Laura Tingle that the amount of identification that had been pwned amounted to 100 points of verification, putting individuals at risk of identify theft or fraud.
“What is of concern for us, is what is quite a basic hack was undertaken on Optus. We should not have a telecommunications provider in this country, which has effectively left the window open for data of this nature to be stolen,” she said.
When asked if she agreed that it was a “sophisticated” attack by “criminals” as posited by Optus Chief Executive Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, O’Neil immediately replied: “We’ll it wasn’t. So, no.”
Laura Tingle: “You don’t seem to be buying this line from Optus that this was a sophisticated attack”
— Jack Foster (@jacklfoster) September 26, 2022
“This is not the end of the story here — we’re still going to be talking about the Optus hack in the weeks to come,” said O’Neil on what she wants to see next.
“Optus need to communicate clearly to their customers about exactly what information has been taken from specific individuals, and they need to assist and support customers to manage the impacts of what is an unprecedented theft of consumer information in Australia.”
She said the Albanese Government will seek to overhaul data laws which telecommunications companies are not held to full account against through minimum cybersecurity standards mandates and potentially higher punitive fines.
The Australian Information Commissioner said on Monday that individuals who are concerned that their personal information may have been disclosed due to the data breach, can lodge a privacy complaint with the government office after complaining to Optus first.