Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosemary’s Emotional Apology After Millions of Customers Hacked Details

Optus CEO has issued an emotional apology after nearly 10 million customers’ personal information was potentially stolen by foreign hackers.

The massive cyber attack allowed hackers to access the personal information of the telecom company’s customers, including passport and driver’s license numbers, email and home addresses, dates of birth and phone numbers.

The company’s boss, Kelly Bayer Rosemary, confirmed that payment details and account passwords had not been compromised, but admitted she felt “terrible” the breach happened under her supervision.

“I think it’s a mix of a lot of different emotions,” she said, looking down.

“Of course I’m angry that there are people out there who want to do this to our customers, I’m disappointed that we couldn’t have prevented it.

The telecoms company boss, Kelly Rosemary, confirmed that payment details and account passwords had not been compromised, but admitted she felt

The telecoms company boss, Kelly Rosemary, confirmed that payment details and account passwords had not been compromised, but admitted she felt “terrible” the breach happened under her watch

“I’m very sorry and I apologize. It shouldn’t have happened.’

Ms Bayer Rosemary also revealed that the IP addresses linked to the hackers were moved to different European countries and that it was a “sophisticated” breach.

She added that it was too early to tell if a criminal organization was involved or if another state was responsible for the attack.

The potentially stolen data dates back to 2017.

Ms Bayer Rosemary said the reported figure of 9.8 million people whose data was breached was the “worst-case scenario” and Optus expected the figure to be much lower.

“It’s a small subset of data, it doesn’t contain financial details, it doesn’t contain passwords,” she said.

It comes after Optus was called out for failing to tell nearly millions of customers for nearly 24 hours that their personal information may have been stolen.

Andrew Sheridan, vice president of Optus Regulatory and Public Affairs, said the company learned of the breach late Wednesday.

He was forced to defend the telecom company when 2GB moderator Ben Fordham asked why they waited until 2pm Thursday to issue a press release.

Optus was called out after waiting almost 24 hours to tell nearly 10 million customers that their personal information may have been stolen by hackers

Optus was called out after waiting almost 24 hours to tell nearly 10 million customers that their personal information may have been stolen by hackers

Fordham said the Australian newspaper first broke news of the breach at 1pm on Thursday, only for Optus to issue a press release an hour later.

“You knew about it on Wednesday … only after the Australian newspaper published the story on its website (on Thursday) did you make a statement,” Fordham said on his breakfast radio program on Friday.

“If you’re interested in protecting your customers, why didn’t you warn them the moment you found out about this potential breach?”

Mr Sheridan said there are a “number of steps” that need to be taken in cyber incidents.

“I think if you look at incidents like this, we acted very, very quickly,” he said.

He was then interrupted by Fordham, who said he didn’t think Telekom acted fast enough.

“I must speak to you, Andrew, I don’t think you acted quickly at all,” he said.

Andrew Sheridan, vice president of Optus Regulatory and Public Affairs, said the company learned of the breach late Wednesday. A press release was only issued by Optus on Thursday

Andrew Sheridan, vice president of Optus Regulatory and Public Affairs, said the company learned of the breach late Wednesday. A press release was only issued by Optus on Thursday

“We’ve seen a lot of these cases in the past where companies have said, ‘We don’t know if there has been a breach, there has been a possible breach, we want to notify you immediately’ – you didn’t do that, you missed it.’

Mr Sheridan declined to confirm the number of customers affected but said the investigation was ongoing.

He added that Optus had to confirm the details of the breach and secure their network before they could warn customers.

The millions of affected customers will be contacted by Telekom.

Customers have been instructed not to click on links sent in a message that appears to be from Optus.

Optus said users’ payment details and account passwords have not been compromised and it is working with Australia’s Cyber ​​Security Center to limit the risk to both current and former customers.

The Australian Federal Police, the Office of the Australian Information Regulatory Authority and other key regulators have also been notified.

Optus said users' payment details and account passwords have not been compromised and it is working with Australia's Cyber ​​Security Center to limit the risk to both current and former customers

Optus said users’ payment details and account passwords have not been compromised and it is working with Australia’s Cyber ​​Security Center to limit the risk to both current and former customers

What Optus said about the breach:

How did it happen?

Optus has been the victim of a cyber attack. We took immediate action to block the attack, which only targeted Optus customer data. Optus’ systems and services, including mobile and home internet, are unaffected, and messaging and voice calls have not been compromised. Optus Services can continue to be used securely and operate as usual.

Was the attack stopped?

Yes. Upon discovering this, Optus immediately ended the attack.

We are now working with the Australian Cyber ​​Security Center to mitigate any risks to customers. We have also notified the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Information Commissioner’s Office and key regulators.

Why did we go to the media first instead of our customers?

The security of our customers and their data is our top priority. We did this because it was the quickest and most effective way to alert as many current and former customers as possible so they could be vigilant and watch out for suspicious activity. We are now in the process of contacting directly affected customers.

What information about me might have been disclosed?

Information that may have been disclosed includes customer names, dates of birth, phone numbers, email addresses, and for a subset of customers, addresses, ID document numbers such as driver’s license or passport numbers. Affected customers will be notified directly of the compromised information.

Optus services, including mobile and home internet, are unaffected. Messages, voice calls, billing and payment details, and account passwords were not compromised.

What should I do to protect myself if I suspect I’m a victim of fraudulent activity?

We are currently not aware of any customers being harmed, but we encourage you to raise awareness for all of your accounts, including:

Be alert to suspicious or unexpected activity in your online accounts, including your bank accounts. Make sure you report any fraudulent activity to the appropriate provider immediately.

Be on the lookout for contacts of scammers who may have your personal information. This can include suspicious emails, text messages, phone calls, or social media messages.

Never click on suspicious-looking links and never give out your passwords or personal or financial information.

How do I contact Optus if I think my account has been compromised?

If you think your account has been compromised, you can contact us through the My Optus app – this remains the safest way to contact Optus, or call us on 133 937 for private customers. Due to the impact of the cyber attack, waiting times may be longer than usual.

If you are a business customer, contact us on 133 343 or your account manager.

How do I know if I’m affected?

We are in the process of contacting directly affected customers.

Alastair MacGibbon, chief strategy officer at cybersecurity firm CberCX and a former adviser to the prime minister, said Optus customers should be alert to criminals posing as them online.

“They should find out if criminals are impersonating them or stealing their identities, trying to get credit on their behalf … etc,” he told ABC.

He said Optus can protect its customers’ interests by paying for credit monitoring.

“That way you’re being monitored by credit monitoring services if someone has used your name and other details to get a loan,” Mr MacGibbon said.

It remains unclear what the hackers were up to at the time as authorities and the telecom company are still investigating.

Mobile and home internet, messages and voice calls are not affected.

Both past and current Optus customers are affected.

How to improve your cyber security

Keep your devices up to date with security upgrades.

Use strong passwords that contain one lowercase letter, one uppercase letter, one number, and four symbols, but not the following &%#@_

Don’t use the same password on multiple devices

Reset your password about once a year

Add a second layer of protection to a password by using two-factor or multi-factor authentication – e.g. B. a password and number sent to your phone via text message

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Emma Colton

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