After Optus, Telstra Hit By Data Breach

Two weeks after telco Optus underwent a data breach, now it is the turn of another Australian telco to report an incident.

Australia’s largest telco Telstra said on Tuesday that it had suffered a ‘small data breach’, according to a report by Reuters. Telstra, which has 18.8 million customer accounts equivalent to three-quarters of Australia’s population, said an intrusion of a third-party organisation exposed some employee data dating back to 2017.

Breach Impact

According to The Australian, Telstra reportedly sent out a memo to staff over the weekend informing them of the data breach. Also, the data that was compromised belonged to a third party that had provided a rewards program for Telstra staff.

The breach is believed to affect around 30,000 current and former staff, with their names and email addresses posted on the Dark Web. Further, it is understood the data is posted on the same forum as the Optus customer data, as per reports.


According to, 12,800 of the names leaked were still employed by Telstra. The data that was taken was “very basic in nature”, limited to names and email addresses, a company spokesperson said in a statement, as reported by Reuters.

Recently, Optus reported breach which was one of the largest in Australian corporate history, which involved a breach of Medicare numbers. All this has rankled politicians.

Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil said that the telco (Optus) had left the door open to a ‘basic’ hack, according to a report by The Australian Financial Review. Optus “left the window open for data of this nature to be stolen”, O’Neil said on the ABC’s 7.30 program, flagging the government would lift the fines for such breaches significantly.

However, she did not specify the quantum of increase. “I am incredibly concerned this morning about reports that personal information from the Optus data breach, including Medicare numbers, are now being offered for free and for ransom,” O’Neil said in a statement.

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