Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has taken aim at the Labor government over its response to Optus’ massive cyberattack.
Optus customers have been urged to change their passwords and check their accounts for “unusual activity” after it was revealed a major cyberattack may have compromised the personal information of up to nine million Australians.
Mr Dutton weighed in on what could be the “biggest data breach in Australia’s history”, slamming Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil for being “missing in action”.
“Nine or ten million people have had their data, their personal information potentially compromised,” he said during a press conference on Friday.
“We don’t know much more detail than that because Clare O’Neil is missing in action.
The cyberattack is believed to have stolen the details of about 2.8 million customers, which includes their passport, driver’s license, email, home address, date of birth and phone number.
Mr Dutton said there are a lot of people “very concerned” about what has happened, particularly older Australians.
“They need the reassurance from the government to provide that understanding of what has happened,” he said.
“Is there a further likelihood of an attack by this group. Do we know whether it’s an organised crime group.
“These are questions that Clare O’Neil should be answering.”
Mr Dutton went on to blame the Labor government for not providing answers to those customers affected by the attack.
“The government had all the answers before the election… and they’ve completely walked away from any of that responsibility,” he said.
“I think it’s important for that information to be provided by the Minister, and provided today.”
Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin has tearfully apologised to Optus customers who found out about the cyberattack in the media rather than being notified by the carrier.
The Australian, which first reported the attack on Thursday, said about seven million more had their date of birth, email address and phone number taken.
However, during a press conference on Friday Ms Bayer Rosmarin admitted she had been aware of the attack since as early as Wednesday.
“I found out about it less than 24 hours before we went live to the press,” she said.
“It was only late that night that we were able to determine that it was of a significant scope. I think that was sort of a late night call. And by 2pm the next day we had notified everybody and tried to get all our ducks in a row.”