Fresh Optus Australia server disruption not caused by a Cyber Attack

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Optus, the Australian counterpart of Singapore Telecommunications, faced a significant disruption on Wednesday, leading to widespread service outages affecting millions of customers. While some initially speculated that the outage was the result of a national emergency or a state-sponsored attack, Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin later clarified that the eight-hour interruption was actually caused by a software misconfiguration that ultimately escalated into a major software glitch.

Optus, with approximately 10 million customers in Australia under the leadership of Prime Minister Albanese, found itself embroiled in a similar cyber-attack controversy in September 2022. During that incident, the country’s third-largest telecom company suffered a data breach, with hackers gaining unauthorized access to sensitive information belonging to over 9.7 million customers. The compromised data included names, birthdates, home addresses, email IDs, passport numbers, and driver’s license details.

Subsequent investigations revealed that a notorious ransomware gang was responsible for the breach, demanding a ransom of $1,500,000 AUD to prevent the leaked information from circulating on the internet.

Given this history, when the Optus cyber-attack occurred in the early hours of Wednesday, many customers and even some government officials initially suspected the involvement of a state-sponsored actor.

A silver lining amidst the Optus Network Outage was the company’s active communication on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Optus kept customers informed and assured them that the disruption affecting mobile and internet services would be resolved within a timeframe of five hours.

Singtel, the parent company of Optus, disclosed that its subsidiary had made significant progress in restoring operations and expressed confidence in fully recovering services by the end of the same day, which is November 8, 2023.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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