Alleged Optus Hacker Apologizes, Deletes Customers’ Exposed Data

  • The hacker behind last week’s Optus data breach seems to have taken down the database containing customers’ released information.

    A user going by ‘optusdata’ and posting on BreachForums claimed responsibility for the attack earlier today and said they had deleted the only copy of the stolen data.

    “Too many eyes. We will not [sell] data to anyone. We can’t if we even want to: personally deleted data from drive (Only copy).”

    However, the alleged hacker also apologized to 10,000 Australian individuals whose data had been leaked.

    “Australia will see no gain in fraud; this can be monitored. Maybe for 10.200 Australian but rest of population no. Very sorry to you.”

    Additionally, the BreachForums user said they would have contacted Optus to let them know firsthand about the breach, but the hacker could not find a dedicated Optus channel for security–related matters.

    The supposed hacker concluded their post by saying that even if the ransom was not paid, they did not care anymore.

    “[It] was [a] mistake to scrape [and] publish [the] data in [the] first place.”

    The post comes hours after the attorney general, Mark Dreyfus, confirmed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the US was assisting the Australian Federal Police’s (AFP) operation in discovering who might have accessed the data and who was attempting to sell it.

    “The AFP is gathering crucial evidence from the breach of Optus data and is working closely with overseas law enforcement to identify the offenders behind this attack,” the AFP wrote in a blog post.

    “Operation Hurricane has been launched to identify the criminals behind the alleged breach and to help shield Australians from identity fraud.”

    Further, the AFP confirmed it is aware of reports of the sale of stolen data, and investigations are continuing.

    “With that in mind, we ask all Australians to think about their online security and take practical measures to better protect themselves from scams and phishing attempts,” said assistant commissioner of Cyber Command Justine Gough.

    “Members of the public, especially current and former Optus customers, should be extra vigilant in monitoring unsolicited text messages, emails and phone calls.”

    At the time of writing, it is unclear how many of Optus’ 9.7 million subscribers were affected by the breach, but the company did previously admit some home addresses, driver’s licenses and passport numbers were potentially accessed by the attacker.