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New security measures after 9.8m Optus customers hacked

The federal government is expected to announce new cyber security measures after hackers accessed personal information including identity document numbers of 9.8 million Optus customers. The ACCC has warned Optus customers to watch out for scams following the massive data breach.

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 Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil met on Saturday with ministerial colleagues and officials from the Australian Signals Directorate and the Cyber Security Centre to discuss the cyber-hack.

O’Neil told parliament on Monday the attack affected 9.8 million customers and 2.8 million lost “significant amounts of data.” 

“Under the changes to be announced in coming days, banks and other institutions would be informed much faster when a data breach occurs at a company like Optus, so personal data can't be used to access accounts,” according to ABC News.

investment scams 800x400The ACCC’s Scamwatch has warned Optus customers to be on the lookout for scams and take steps to secure their personal information following the cyber-attack.

A ‘Scamwatch radar alert’ said: "If you are an Optus customer your name, date of birth, phone number, email addresses may have been released. For some customers identity document numbers such as driver’s licence or passport numbers could be in the hands of criminals. It is important to be aware that you may be at risk of identity theft and take urgent action to prevent harm.”

Optus customers dating back to 2017 could be exposed.

“Optus customers should take immediate steps to secure all of their accounts, particularly their bank and financial accounts,” Scamwatch said. “You should also monitor for unusual activity on your accounts and watch out for contact by scammers.

“Steps you can take to protect your personal information include:
- Secure your devices and monitor for unusual activity
- Change your online account passwords and enable multi factor authentication for banking
- Check your accounts for unusual activity such as items you haven’t purchased
- Place limits on your accounts or ask you bank how you can secure your money
- If you suspect fraud you can request a ban on your credit report.”

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More information about how to protect yourself is available on the OAIC website.

Check the Optus website for information and contact Optus via the My Optus App or call 133 937.

Scammers may use your personal information to contact you by phone, text or email. Never click on links or provide personal or financial information to someone who contacts you out of the blue. Learn how to protect yourself from scams by visiting www.scamwatch.gov.au

If you are concerned that your identity has been compromised or you have been a victim of a scam contact your bank immediately and call IDCARE on 1800 595 160. IDCARE is Australia’s national identity and cyber support service, to get expert advice from a specialist identity and cyber security service. You can also report scams to Scamwatch www.scamwatch.gov.au and check cyber.gov.au for information about cyber security.