Optus has yet to provide government agencies with information on affected customers

In a statement issued on Sunday, the Albanian government called on the telecommunications company to help protect those affected from fraud.

Services Australia wrote to Optus on Tuesday asking for full details of any customers whose Medicare or Centrelink Concession Cards were compromised in the hack to bolster security measures.

The telecommunications giant had not responded to the request, the government said.

Cybersecurity Minister Clare O’Neil said Optus needed to be upfront about what data was taken from individuals.

“This is a security breach that shouldn’t have happened, but what’s really important here is that we’re rowing in the same direction and doing everything we can to stop the financial crime against Australians,” she said.

Government Services Minister Bill Shorten said Services Australia was ready to act but needed the information held by Optus.

It’s still unclear how many of the nearly 10 million Optus customers affected by the hack had their credentials stolen, but it’s since been confirmed that at least 10,000 packages of credentials have been stolen. put on the dark web.

Private information exposed included names, dates of birth, phone numbers and addresses, as well as passport, health insurance and driver’s license numbers.

Earlier, Attorney General Mark Dreyfus said he would review Australia’s privacy laws and could put in place stronger protections by the end of the year.

“Businesses across Australia should stop seeing all this personal data as an asset to them, they should actually see it as a liability,” Mr Dreyfus told ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday.

Mr. Dreyfus said he hadn’t heard a good enough reason why companies kept the amount of personal data they currently did and Optus had failed to protect user information.

“This is a wake-up call for Australian businesses,” he said.

“I may be making reforms to the Privacy Act before the end of the year to try to get tougher penalties and get companies to think seriously about why they store Australians’ personal data. .”

The federal government blasted Optus’ handling of the breach, saying it was a grassroots hack that left millions of Australians at risk of possible identity theft.

Optus boss Kelly Bayer Rosmarin has apologized to customers but is resisting calls to leave.

Opposition cybersecurity critic James Paterson said the coalition would be open to larger fines for breaches of the Privacy Act.

“We want to make sure that big Australian businesses take this very seriously,” he told Sky News on Sunday.

Ms O’Neil strongly criticized Optus and lashed out at the former government, describing laws designed to protect Australia’s critical infrastructure from cyberattacks as “unnecessarily bloody”.

She told the Nine Diaries that Australian laws meant the government could intervene in a cyberattack, but were relatively powerless once it was over.

Mr Paterson signaled his support for any changes that may be needed if there is evidence to support it.

AAP with the project.

Ashley C. Reynolds