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After a Massive Cyberattack on Optus, Australia Intends to Amend Its Privacy Laws

Anthony Albanese said that the nation would modify its privacy laws to enable banks to be informed of cyberattacks

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

AUSTRALIA: Hackers targeted the nation’s second-largest telecom company. Therefore, Australia’s prime minister, Anthony Albanese, announced on Monday that the nation would modify its privacy laws to enable banks to be informed of cyberattacks on firms more swiftly.

Australian PM Anthony Albanese. Photo Credit: Twitter

In one of Australia’s largest data breaches, Optus, owned by Singapore Telecoms Ltd (STEL.SI), said last week that up to 10 million customers’ home addresses, driver’s licence numbers, and passport numbers, or around 40% of the population, were exposed.

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The company claimed that the attacker’s IP address, which is a computer’s unique identification, appeared to switch between European nations, but it opted not to elaborate on how security was compromised.

The incident, according to Albanese, was “a major wake-up call” for the corporate sector since some state actors and criminal organisations wished to access people’s data.

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He told radio station 4BC, “We want to make sure that we update some of the privacy protections there so that the banks can be informed if people are caught up in this way so that they can safeguard their clients as well.”

Clare O’Neil, minister of cybersecurity, warned the legislature that overcoming a complicated legal and technical issue would require “quite substantial” reform.

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One important concern, according to her, is whether the nation’s main telecom providers’ compliance with our stringent cyber security regulations is appropriate.

“This massive breach would result in fines of hundreds of millions of dollars in other jurisdictions,” the statement continued.

According to a corporate spokeswoman who sent a statement via email, Optus has notified clients whose driver’s licence or passport numbers were compromised. It went on to say that payment information and account passwords were safe.

To bolster its cyber defences, Australia pledged in 2020 to invest A$1.66 billion ($1.1 billion) over the next ten years in improving business and residential network infrastructure.

Also Read: US Imposes Sanctions on Iran over Cyber Attacks in Albania

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