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Australia Karl Stefanovic launches a fiery attack on Optus: 'This makes me rage'

07:42  27 september  2022
07:42  27 september  2022 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Karl Stefanovic has slammed Optus for being too 'slow' in responding to Australia's largest ever privacy breach.

His comments come after a mysterious hacker leaked the personal details of 10,000 innocent customers, before apologising and deleting the trove of data they stole.

The Today Show host said the breach was a 'massive safety concern' and slammed the telco for taking three days to notify affected customers personally.

'The fact that Optus was so slow on to it in the first place, the fact that this person is now targeting innocent Australians, is abhorrent to me,' he said.

'The fact that we can't do anything about it is even worse and the fact that we haven't got legislation around this, at this point in time, get on to it fast, and the Australian Government needs to act on this right now.

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  It’s too late to undo the Optus hack. How do we stop the next one? An account claiming to be the hacker told Crikey they wouldn't release the data if Optus paid them $1 million — but said the telco had not yet been in touch.An anonymous account, “Optusdata”, posted an extortion threat for US$1 million to the telecommunications company on a popular hacking website. The account asked for the sum to be paid in untraceable cryptocurrency Monero within a week or the dataset would be made available to others for purchase.

'But right now, 10,000 Australians have their details, their private details, on the public record, able to be used for any kind of crime.

Stefanovic said it made him 'rage' after learning it was not a sophisticated cyber attack.

'You know we put our faith in companies, and this is a big company.' Stefanovic explained. 'Nine million customers, and a high-schoolkid could've hacked it.

'I mean, it's as bad as it gets, and this could be a company killer.'

Karl Stefanovic said the breach was a 'massive safety concern' and slammed Optus for taking three days to personally notify affected customers © Provided by Daily Mail Karl Stefanovic said the breach was a 'massive safety concern' and slammed Optus for taking three days to personally notify affected customers

In a huge twist on Tuesday morning, 'optushacker' claimed there were 'too many eyes' on them and said they would not sell or leak the hacked data of up to 10 million Australians - after releasing the details of some 10,000 customers.

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In broken English, optushacker said: 'Deepest apology to Optus for this. Hope all goes well from this'

The hacker also claimed they would've told the telco about their vulnerability but there was no way of getting in touch.

'Optus if your (sic) reading we would have reported exploit if you had method to contact.

'No security mail, no bug bountys, no way too message,' the message read. 'Ransom not paid but we don't care any more.'

The extraordinary backflip comes hours after the cybercriminal threatened to release another 10,000 records every day for the next four days if a $1.5million ransom is not paid.

The customer records the hacker has released so far included passport, drivers licence and Medicare numbers, as well as dates of birth and home addresses.

Stefanovic said some Optus customers had already been 'bombarded' with calls and texts while others were yet to be personally notified by the telco.

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The mysterious Optus hacker has released the private details of 10,000 customers as the telco company's response to the major breach is slammed as too 'slow' © Provided by Daily Mail The mysterious Optus hacker has released the private details of 10,000 customers as the telco company's response to the major breach is slammed as too 'slow' The hacker has warned Optus that if the money is not paid, 10,000 customer records will be released each day until the money is received (stock image) © Provided by Daily Mail The hacker has warned Optus that if the money is not paid, 10,000 customer records will be released each day until the money is received (stock image)

The data breach, which Optus has apologised for and is investigating, has left many wondering what they can do to protect themselves, and whether they can be financially compensated for what has occurred.

The embattled telco has offered the 'most affected' customers access to free credit checks with the company Equifax, which suffered a massive data breach of its own in 2017, with some 140million people affected.

'The most affected customers will be receiving direct communications from Optus over the coming days on how to start their subscription at no cost,' Optus said.

Pictured: Kylie Carson, a special counsel in general compensation at Shine Lawyers © Provided by Daily Mail Pictured: Kylie Carson, a special counsel in general compensation at Shine Lawyers

Kylie Carson, a special counsel specialising in general compensation at Shine Lawyers, said if an Optus customer had a financial loss as a result of the data breach, they may be able to pursue a claim.

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'To pursue a claim, it would have to be viable and you'd have to prove that Optus didn't do enough and didn't put sufficient things in place to protect your data,' the top lawyer told Daily Mail Australia.

Ms Carson added something like human error would also have the potential for victims to make a claim.

'Optus is vicariously liable for the actions of their employees,' she said.

Ms Carson herself was the victim of the data breach and said Optus was providing customers with 'more questions than answers' and urged people to stay vigilant.

'Everyone should be a bit cautious about the messages and texts they get sent, if it looks suspicious it probably is,' Ms Carson added.

The embattled telco has offered the 'most affected' customers access to free credit checks with the company Equifax (pictured, an Optus store in Sydney) © Provided by Daily Mail The embattled telco has offered the 'most affected' customers access to free credit checks with the company Equifax (pictured, an Optus store in Sydney)

Australian law firm Slater and Gordon on Monday said they were investigating a possible class action against Optus.

The firm's senior associate Ben Zocco said they were assessing possible legal options for those caught in the cyber attack.

'This is potentially the most serious privacy breach in Australian history, both in terms of the number of affected people and the nature of the information disclosed,' Mr Zocco said.

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'We consider that the consequences could be particularly serious for vulnerable members of society, such as domestic violence survivors, victims of stalking and other threatening behaviour, and people who are seeking or have previously sought asylum in Australia.

'Given the type of information that has been reportedly disclosed, these people can't simply heed Optus' advice to be on the look-out for scam emails and text messages.'

The Optus CEO last week said it was too soon to tell if it was a criminal organisation or another state was responsible for the attack (pictured, customers in an Optus store in Sydney) © Provided by Daily Mail The Optus CEO last week said it was too soon to tell if it was a criminal organisation or another state was responsible for the attack (pictured, customers in an Optus store in Sydney)

Optus chief executive Kelly Bayer Rosmarin says the company is working with the Australian Federal Police to investigate the attack - with cops warning the sale of personal details is illegal and can attract 10 years in prison.

On Friday morning, the CEO made an emotional apology to the millions of Optus customers involved in Australia's biggest data breach.

'I think it's a mix of a lot of different emotions,' she said looking downcast.

'Obviously I am angry that there are people out there that want to do this to our customers, I'm disappointed we couldn't have prevented it.

'I'm very sorry and apologetic. It should not have happened.

Optus chief executive Kelly Bayer Rosmarin on Friday apologised for the breach and said the company is working with the Australian Federal Police to investigate the attack © Provided by Daily Mail Optus chief executive Kelly Bayer Rosmarin on Friday apologised for the breach and said the company is working with the Australian Federal Police to investigate the attack

Ms Bayer Rosmarin said the IP addresses linked to the hackers had moved around various European countries, and that it was a 'sophisticated' breach.

The CEO added it was too soon to tell if it was a criminal organisation or another state was responsible for the attack.

The data that was potentially stolen has been dated back to 2017.

The breach has prompted calls on the federal government to take action with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese calling the incident a 'wake up call for the corporate sector in terms of protecting the data'.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the government was working to make sure it was 'responding adequately' with announcements to be made in the coming days.

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