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Australian Federal Police monitor dark web amid allegations of Optus data theft likely to be sold online

Australian Federal Police are monitoring the dark web and internet forums after reports that stolen Optus data could be sold online.

A post on the BreachForums website claims to sell the data, which includes email addresses, dates of birth, first and last names, phone numbers, driver’s license and passport numbers.

The dataset referred to has not been confirmed or verified by Optus, police or intelligence agencies, but some figures have been verified by journalists.

“AFP is aware of reports alleging stolen Optus customer data and credentials could be sold via a number of forums, including the dark web,” a police spokesperson told AFP. the ABC.

“AFP uses specialized capabilities to monitor the dark web and other technologies and will not hesitate to take action against those who break the law.”

Cybersecurity firm Internet2.0 co-founder Robert Potter, who has advised the US and Australian governments on cyberattacks, said the data was authentic.

“I’m comfortable saying the data is authentic information and some of it includes email addresses never before seen in other breaches,” Potter told the ABC. .

“Some of the data is still encrypted. Optus should confirm if it comes from their systems.”

Buying stolen credentials online is a criminal offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

At a press conference on Friday, Optus chief executive Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said the company was aware of reports that Optus data had been sold online.

“One of the challenges when you make this kind of information public is that many people can claim a lot of things,” Bayer Rosmarin said.

“To our knowledge, there is nothing validated and marketable, but the teams are studying all the possibilities.”

On Saturday, Optus was unwilling to comment on the post citing police advice.

“We are coordinating with AFP as this is now a criminal investigation,” the spokesperson said.

“Given the investigation, Optus will not comment on the legitimacy of customer data allegedly held by third parties and urges all customers to exercise caution in their online dealings and transactions.

“Again, we apologize.”

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Optus contacts its customers following a data breach

Optus continues to contact customers involved in the attack

Some cyber experts urge caution over reports of data being sold online, warning it could be an attempt to capitalize on media attention.

Optus continues to contact all customers involved in the cyberattack.

“We will start with customers whose ID number may have been compromised, all of whom will be notified by today,” the spokesperson said.

Optus also advised customers to be extra vigilant online and beware of scams.

“If customers receive an email or text message with a link claiming to be from Optus, they are advised that this is not a communication from Optus. Please do not click on any links,” said the spokesperson.

“We have been informed that our announcement of the attack is likely to trigger a number of criminal claims and scams.”