Telstra Explained How It Accidentally Published More Than 100k Folks’ Data & It’s A Bloody Doozy

Telstra logo outside the Telstra Melbourne headquarters and Liam Neeson in Taken on the phone

Telstra has explained how it accidentally published tens of thousands of customers’ data on the World Wide Web, even though they explicitly asked the telco to keep their personal details unlisted.

Telstra chief financial officer Michael Ackland told ABC Radio Melbourne on Monday the personal information — consisting of names, numbers and addresses — of 132,000 customers was accidentally made available via directory assistance and the White Pages due to a database “error”.

“It’s an error between those databases that we discovered through our regular audit and reconciliation processes,” he said.

“We’ve now gone and removed all of that data that was published where a customer legitimately requested us not to publish it.”

Ackland previously confirmed in an update on Telstra’s website that the telco had not been hacked, and understood that customers had been “let down” by the ginormous whoopsie doodle.

“For the customers impacted we understand this is an unacceptable breach of your trust,” he said.

“We’re sorry it occurred, and we know we have let you down.”

Telstra has contacted affected customers and offered them free services to protect against identity theft.

According to the ABC, one customer received a letter informing them that their personal information has been publicly available from August 13, 2021 until December 5 this year.

Ruh roh, Raggy!

It’s certainly been a big year for data breaches, which is a truly depressing sentence.

Nearly 10 million current and former Optus customers had their personal information leaked in a big ol’ cyberattack in September.

A 19-year-old Sydney bloke allegedly used some of that data to blackmail customers into sending him money, and a Melbourne family who had their details breached in the hack revealed they’ve lost nearly $40,000 from suspected identity theft.

And then 9.7 million current and former Medibank customers and authorised representatives had their data compromised in a particularly fucked cyberattack in October, which saw hackers release documents containing information about sensitive medical procedures.

In an exceptionally disturbing and misogynistic attack, hackers posted a file named “abortion”, which appeared to disclose the names of 303 customers who terminated non-viable pregnancies.

The federal government flagged the introduction of new data laws in October, which would see companies cop ‘yuge fines if they’re involved in serious breaches or are hacked several times.

Methinks such laws can’t be passed soon enough.