Just under two weeks ago Optus, Australia’s second-largest telecommunications company suffered its largest hack ever. Since then, the company has been slammed by both the Australian government and customers exposed to the cyberattack.
With almost 10 million customer accounts exposed to the attack, Optus is potentially facing a mass exodus. Today Optus revealed that over 2 million ID numbers have been stolen, including 150,000 passport numbers. The amount of documents leaked is expected to rise as internal investigations continue.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) launched Operation Hurricane shortly after the cyberattack. Working in conjunction with the FBI and other foreign security agencies, the AFP-led Operation Hurricane aims to identify the perpetrators of the cyberattack.
Now, the AFP has announced a new operation called Operation Guardian. The aim of Operation Guardian is to provide immediate protection for 10,000 victims who had their information saved and reposted by members of the forum website where the information was initially leaked. As the hackers apologised and gave up their demands for $1 million, the AFP is setting its focus on minimising the impact of leaked documents that are now presumably circulating on the dark web.
“Customers affected by the breach will receive multi-jurisdictional and multilayered protection from identity crime and financial fraud.”AFP Assistant Commissioner Justine Gough
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has confirmed that Optus will compensate victims of the cyberattack by covering the costs of their compromised passports.
Due to the difficulty of tracking down well-prepared cyber attackers, it is expected that the cybersecurity specialists within the AFP will need to dedicate weeks, if not months to come to a conclusion.