This Friday (30th), the Australian Federal Police (AFP) launched the Operation Guardian. Carried out in partnership with other sectors in the country, the objective of the action is to protect the 10 thousand customers who had their sensitive data exposed in the attack on optus. Meanwhile, police continue to investigate cybercrime that may have compromised a total of 9.8 million people.
According to AFP, “affected customers will receive multi-jurisdictional and multi-layered protection against identity crimes and financial fraud. The 10 thousand individuals […] will be prioritized.” Therefore, in order to ensure them, the operation will take some measures, namely:
- Identify victims and subsequently alert the industry to allow greater protection for these members of the public;
- Monitor online forums, internet and dark web to deter other criminals who try to exploit information disclosed online;
- Engage with the financial services industry to detect criminal activity associated with a data breach;
- Analyze ReportCyber trends [canal australiano para denúncias de crimes cibernéticos] to determine whether there are links between individuals who have been exploited;
- Identify and stop cybercriminals.
After Optus reported that it was the target of an attack, criminals would already be using leaked information. Darren FieldkeAFP’s chief inspector, said the scammers would be sending messages to victims and asking for money so that their information would not be used fraudulently.
According to the Australian Banking Association (ABA) and the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA)bodies responsible for Australia’s banking sector, financial institutions are already working with the government to strengthen the country’s cybersecurity.
The main focus, according to them, is to protect customers and create even stronger defense systems to keep them safe. During periods of greater risk, the bodies said that banks increase monitoring and strengthen protection mechanisms that already exist, minimizing losses.
Attack may have been one of the biggest in Australian history
Last week, some 9.8 million customers had their data leaked in what may have been one of the biggest attacks in Australian history. The victim of the time was Optus, the second largest operator in the country.
The attack reportedly took place earlier this month, but the company only said it was investigating the case after more than two weeks. Among the data obtained by criminals would be: names, addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers, emails, driver’s license and passport numbers.
A day later, a hacker named “Optusdata” published samples with more than 10,000 pieces of information from the stolen data and demanded a ransom of $1 million in Monero cryptocurrency so that all the information would not be publicly leaked.
It didn’t take long for him go back and apologize to the company and people. Coincidentally or not, this decision to back down came after Operation Hurricane that AFP quickly launched to try to identify the criminals behind the attack and the extortion attempt.