Select group of Optus customers should cancel licences and passports immediately, minister says

1 month ago 20

The 10,200 Optus customers who had their idiosyncratic records posted online past week successful the aftermath of the telco’s monolithic information breach should instantly cancel their driver’s licences and passports, the national authorities says.

Optus has written to the 10,200 customers exposed past Monday aft 10 cardinal Australians had their records stolen from the telco a week earlier.

The location affairs minister, Clare O’Neil, said connected Sunday that cybersecurity laws passed by the erstwhile Morrison authorities turned retired to beryllium “absolutely useless” for dealing with the Optus breach.

O’Neil said Optus needed to amended pass with those affected to assistance them regenerate individuality documents.

Optus revealed connected 22 September that the idiosyncratic accusation of much than 10 cardinal customers was exposed – with 2.8 cardinal having individuality documents including passport, Medicare and licence numbers stolen.

An alleged attacker who had sought $1m successful ransom wealth from Optus posted 10,200 records online past Monday earlier withdrawing the menace connected Tuesday and apologising.

“[Optus] person advised maine they person advised those 10,200 radical who they are and I privation to accidental to those radical that I would counsel you – and the Australian authorities proposal to you is – if you been told you are the taxable of that peculiar portion of the breach, you should proceed instantly to cancel applicable recognition cards, to cancel your passport and bash immoderate other is needed to marque definite you are getting caller individuality documents based connected the email that was provided to you,” O’Neil said connected Sunday.

The curate said notifying affected customers via email was not capable “and we volition request to spell to a process of straight speaking to those radical and Optus needs to instrumentality up the mantle to guarantee that radical are alert that they are astatine risk”.

O’Neil said Optus was moving with authorities method experts to recognize however the breach occurred and different telecommunications companies were moving with the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) to guarantee they did not person akin vulnerabilities.

She called connected Optus to beryllium much transparent astir the wide fig of customers who had individuality documents exposed, saying Optus had not been forthcoming with that information.

The authorities services minister, Bill Shorten, said Services Australia needed to cognize what Medicare accusation was exposed. “I admit they [Optus] had a full-page paper advertisement successful the insubstantial connected the weekend, but an advertisement is not a strategy. That is not a plan,” helium said.

O’Neil foreshadowed caller cybersecurity legislation. She said captious infrastructure authorities passed successful the past parliament had not done what the erstwhile Coalition authorities said it was designed to do.

“I tin archer you that those laws were perfectly useless to maine erstwhile the Optus substance came connected foot,” she said. “I simply cognize that we bash not person the close laws successful the state to negociate cybersecurity exigency incidents and this is thing we volition request to look at.”

The lawyer general, Mark Dreyfus, told ABC’s Insiders programme authorities to overhaul privateness instrumentality successful Australia aft the Optus information breach could beryllium introduced to the parliament earlier the extremity of this year.

Dreyfus said the government’s effect to the long-running reappraisal of the Privacy Act would incorporate changes and “tough penalties” to marque companies deliberation harder astir storing idiosyncratic information.

He said helium had yet to perceive a crushed wherefore Optus had kept information arsenic acold backmost arsenic 2017 and helium indicated the information should lone beryllium collected erstwhile opening an account.