The hacker who stole the personal data of 10 million Optus customers and then claimed responsibility for the greatest data breach in the nation has vanished.
The mysterious user, also known online as “Optusdata,” has disappeared from the site BreachForums.
The self-declared hacker often posted on the site, accusing others of being involved in the attack and demanding a $1.5 million ransom in exchange for the data.
Then, on Tuesday, they apologized profusely for their earlier threat and haven’t logged into their account since.
Their “reputation” on the internet has also suffered, dropping to minus 41.
Users of forums have the ability to change the “reputation” of other members by adding or removing points.
In an odd message published on Tuesday morning, “Optusdata” stated that there were “too many eyes” on them and that they would not sell or release the breached information of up to 10 million Australians.
“Optusdata” apologetic in bad English to Optus for the incident. Hope everything goes smoothly from here.
After originally threatening to reveal the data of 10,000 clients every day for four days unless Optus paid the $1.5 million ransom, the hacker also changed his mind.
A lot of eyeballs. We won’t sell anyone’s info, sorry. In a statement, the hacker added, “We can’t if we even want to: personally removed data from disk (Only copy).”
The crime was quickly criticized by other members on the site where “Optusdata” stated their demands.
Optus very likely would have legitimately paid you plenty to covertly stop the leak. not very clever. Don’t be a novice if you’re going to steal data, one user said.
Another person said, “It was a fairly foolish move to begin with.”
Unprofessional level work, according to a third.
A fourth said, “Script kiddies at their finest.”
The company’s subsidiaries Virgin Mobile and Gomo are also at danger, according to new emails obtained by Guardian Australia. Initially, it was believed that the data breach only affected direct Optus subscribers.
Additionally, the network supplies mobile network services to iiNet, Circles.Life, Amaysim, and Dodo.
Despite appeals from the federal government to replace passports, Optus has so far refused to reissue licenses for clients who require them.
Optus has been approached by Daily Mail Australia for comment.
In 2006, Optus acquired the last portion of Virgin Mobile Australia, completing its acquisition.
Launched in 2020, Gomo is run by Optus and has users in Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand.
The Optus issue has also brought attention to the need to “turn the dial” and hold businesses ultimately accountable for safeguarding their customers.
Stephen Jones, the federal minister of financial services, emphasized that Optus had a duty to the almost 40% of Australians impacted by the incident.
Although cardholders are informed that their health information cannot be accessed with their client number, the government earlier this week voiced its dismay that Medicare records were included in the heist.
Nearly all states and territories have now made it free for people who have been impacted by the data leak to apply for new driver’s license numbers, with any additional expenses likely to be covered by the telecom in the end.
The cost of new passports has been sought from Optus by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who blamed the telecom for the attack.
On Thursday, he said, “Companies need to be held accountable here, and that is something my administration is committed to accomplish.”