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Australia to overhaul privacy rules following huge Optus data breach

Australia to overhaul privacy rules following huge Optus data breach

The Australian government is reportedly expected to conduct a thorough overhaul of its privacy rules so banks will be notified of any data breach in the corporate sector. The move supposedly comes after the country’s second-largest telecom firm, Optus, suffered a massive leak of personal information.

Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, stated that the hacking incident was a major wake-up call, necessitating reforms that would inform financial institutions about cyberattacks so they can protect their customers.

Under the proposed regulatory changes, businesses will be mandated to notify banks about data breaches concerning customers so lenders can monitor their accounts for any suspicious activity.

Clare O’Neil, Minister of Cybersecurity, stated that details regarding the next steps to take in case of cyberattacks in the future will be announced soon.

last week, telecom firm, Optus, had revealed that the personal details of almost 10 million users might have been compromised after it suffered one of the largest data breaches in the history of Australia.

According to the carrier, the leaked information includes the users’ name, date of birth, email address, phone number, address, driver’s license as well as passport numbers.

Since then, a self-identified hacker has posted online messages asking the Singapore Telecommunications-owned firm for a $1 million ransom in cryptocurrency. If the firm fails to pay the ransom, the attacker has threatened to expose the information stolen from the leak.

While the attacker has not been identified yet, Optus stated that their IP address can be traced to multiple European countries.

Meanwhile, according to Sydney-based tech analyst, Trevor Long, the planned reforms are not really far-reaching. Long added that Optus customers are angry, with many talking about leaving the service. With Optus not releasing any further details, the size of the issue is still unknown.

Long further stated that the government needs to establish a simple credit-blocking mechanism that can be used to switch off the card’s ability to be applied under their name, so that it can be turned on when needed, such as for a loan, and turned off when not. This will effectively stop fraudsters at the first barrier.

The Optus breach comes after many leading firms, like Samsung, Uber, American Airlines, and North Face faced cyberattacks this month.

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Pooja Sharma

Pursuing her professional career as a content writer for over two years now, Pooja Sharma is endowed with a post-graduate degree in English Literature. The articles that she writes are a balanced blend of her ever-growing love of language and the technical expertise that she has gained over the years. Currently Pooja pens insightful articles for Newsorigins and numerous other websites, covering subjects such as business, finance, and technology.