The second-largest telecoms operator, Optus, was criticised by the Australian government in the harshest possible terms on Sunday for a cybersecurity compromise that affected the equivalent of 40% of the nation.
The government demanded that Optus, which is owned by Singapore Telecommunications, quickly notify the 10,200 customers whose personal information was disclosed in one of the biggest cybersecurity breaches in the nation. The breach, which affected 10 million accounts, was attributed to Optus.
In a televised news conference from Melbourne, Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil said, ‘Optus has put us here. We shouldn’t be in this position. Australians must now take all reasonable efforts to safeguard themselves against financial crime, which is crucial.’
Optus stated on Sunday that it was closely collaborating with federal and state government organisations to identify if clients required any action, but it was still waiting for more information on the situation of customers whose details had expired.
An Optus representative stated in email remarks, ‘We continue to engage constructively with governments and their different bodies to mitigate the impact on our consumers.’
When asked if Optus had discovered the method by which the breach happened, the representative remained silent.
The corporation published a full-page apology for the ‘devastating’ breach that it initially disclosed on September 22 in major Australian newspapers on Saturday. Later, an anonymous person wrote online that they would continue to reveal the personal information of 10,000 Optus customers every day until they earned $1 million.