More shit has been added to the Optus data breach stew ‘cos the company has confirmed thousands of Medicare ID numbers have also been compromised. Ruh roh, Raggy.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Optus confirmed 14,900 valid Medicare ID numbers had been exposed.
“All of the customers who have a Medicare card that is not expired will be contacted within 24 hours,” the statement read.
A further 22,000 expired Medicare ID numbers have also been compromised. Optus confirmed these customers would also be contacted over the next few days “out of an abundance of caution”.
“Please be assured that people cannot access your Medicare details with just your Medicare number,” the statement continued.
“If you are concerned or have been affected, you can replace your Medicare card as advised by Services Australia.”
Optus, babes, the fact that people can’t get into my Medicare account using only the number isn’t the point. It’s not my circus, nor is it my monkeys that the data was exposed in the first instance.
The federal government is also pissed at Optus ‘cos it took the telco donkey’s years — or five days, if you wish to be exact — to alert the big dogs in Canberra that Medicare data was included in the cyberattack.
According to 9News, the government only found out on Tuesday that Medicare details had been compromised, after the hacker who reckons they’re behind the cyberattack released 10,000 customers’ data.
The hacker threatened to leak more until they were paid AUD$1.5 million, but has since apologised and dropped their demands.
Speaking on ABC Radio, Health Minister Mark Butler said: “We were not notified that among passport details, driver’s licence details and others that Medicare details had also been the subject of this breach.”
“So, we’re very concerned obviously about the loss of this data, and we’re working very hard to deal with the consequences of that.
“We’re looking at (getting people new Medicare numbers). We’ll have more to say about that as soon as we can, but we’re looking at that very closely.”
State governments are equally peeved and have said they’ll make Optus cover the cost of up to 9 million free driver’s licences for customers whose personal data was compromised in the ‘yuge cyberattack.
It’s all a bit of a kerfuffle, if you ask me. The sitch is also moving quicker than a Formula 1 car — the hacker said they’ve deleted the data, but there have been reports of customers receiving text messages with their personal details, and the sender demanding payment in exchange for keeping the information private.
If you’re an Optus customer and you’re feeling a wee bit worried about your data, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself.