Australia’s largest telecommunications company Telstra Group [TLS:AU] mistakenly revealed some of its customers’ names, numbers, and addresses on their website due to an internal error, as reported by Reuters on December 11. Approximately 132,000 customers were impacted by the data breach. Telstra has done an internal investigation and found that the data breach was not caused by cyberattack but by the misalignment of databases. To redress the incident, Telstra will contact the impacted customers and offer free services to make up for the mistake.
This is not the first time Australian companies experience data breaches. Unlike Telstra’s incident, which was caused by internal errors, most other cases were caused by cyberattacks. Earlier this year, Optus Mobile, a subsidiary of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd [ST:SP], suffered a massive customer data breach as a result of a malicious cyberattack. Optus is Australia’s second-largest telecommunications provider after Telstra. About 10 million customers’ personal information including names, birthdates, addresses, and contact information was stolen in the Optus data incident, potentially making it Australia’s most serious breach. Similarly, Medibank Private Limited [MBK:SW], one of Australia’s largest private health insurance providers, also encountered a customer privacy breach due to cyberattack. These incidents raised concerns over cybersecurity issues in large companies in Australia.