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Optus sets aside $140m for data hack expenses

As part of its half-year financial performance report, Optus has announced that it is allocating $140 million for the financial year to cover the cost of cleaning up the major data breach it suffered in September.

user iconDaniel Croft
Thu, 10 Nov 2022
Optus sets aside $140m for data hack expenses
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The Singtel-owned Aussie telecommunications giant has set aside the $140 million as an “exceptional expense for the expected costs of actions to prevent harm to customers, such as the replacement of identity documents, and in relation to recovery activities noted below,” it said in the report.

Parent company Singtel has stated that the money is also “for a program of customer actions, including an external independent review, third-party credit monitoring services for impacted customers and the replacement of customer identification documents where needed”.

The company says this cost could increase due to potential action from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, and the Department of Home Affairs.

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Still in a period of damage control and clean up after up to 9.7 million customers’ data was affected, Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said, “We recognise how painful the exposure of personal information from the cyber attack on Optus customers has been, and we are deeply sorry.

“We have listened to our customers’ feedback and are committed to finding improvements and ensuring a safer future against cyber crime.”

In addition to the funds, the company has announced that it would be announcing several investments and commitments which would better protect it and its customers from future attacks.

“We are today announcing a series of commitments and investments to further lift our cyber capabilities, to provide additional protections for our customers, and to share insights to help protect other organisations and the communities in which we operate,” continued Bayer Rosmarin.

Listed on their website, the telecommunications company has outlined seven commitments going forward which include an external audit by Deloitte, the introduction of new cyber security tools, new verification options and investments into cyber security learning at a family and institutional level.

Optus saw a year-on-year increase in operating revenue of 1 per cent, bringing it to 3.963 million for the half year. EBIT jumped by $51.3 million, now sitting at $164 million.

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