Australia has announced plans to tighten privacy regulations following a data breach at the country’s second-largest telecommunications company.
Personal data of up to 10 million customers, approximately 40% of the populationwere compromised by hackers, reported Optus, which is owned by Singapore Telecoms Ltd.
Although Optus stressed that payment details and account passwords remain secureSome customers had their addresses, driver’s licenses and passport numbers exposed.
Those whose driving licenses or passport numbers were stolen have been alerted, the telecommunications company said, and added that it would provide the most affected customers with free credit monitoring and identity protection through the Equifax credit agency for one year.
Although the company neglected to explain how the security breach happened, it said the attacker’s IP address appeared to roam all over Europe. According to local reports, an unidentified party had demanded $1 million in cryptocurrency in exchange for the data on an online forumalthough Optus has not confirmed its authenticity.
“Big alarm bell” – Prime Minister
In response to one of the country’s largest data breaches, the Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, requested approval of the regulations more responsible privacy policies that would require companies to inform banks more quickly when they experience hacks cybernetics.
Calling the incident a “a good awakening” For the corporate sector, Albanese acknowledged that some state actors and criminal groups want access to people’s data.
“We want to make sure that we change some of the privacy provisions so that if people get caught in this way it can be reported to the banks, so they can protect their customers as well,” he said. told 4BC radio station. .
During, Cybersecurity Minister Clare O’Neil held Optus responsible for the breach. He pointed out that such failures in other jurisdictions would result in fines of more than hundreds of millions of dollars, such as laws in Europe that penalize companies 4% of global revenue for privacy violations.
“An important question is whether the cybersecurity requirements that we impose on the major telecommunications providers in this country are fit for purpose,” O’Neil told parliament.
The scam crypto outbreak in australia
Although this case is rather a potential case of Ransomware, Australians lost over A$242.45 million due to cryptocurrency and investment scams so far this year, according to recent data from ScamWare.
In response, a new Federal Police Division was recently created in Australia to combat money laundering based on virtual assets. Stefan Jerga, National Criminal Forfeiture Officer at the Australian Federal Police (AFP)revealed that the new task force has already exceeded its 2024 target of reducing illicit profits by A$600 million.
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