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Tuesday, 27 September 2022 11:17

Cold feet? Optus attacker changes tack, says all data deleted Featured

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Cold feet? Optus attacker changes tack, says all data deleted Image by Shafin Al Asad Protic from Pixabay

The attacker who allegedly breached the networks of Optus appears to have developed cold feet, posting a note saying that he/she has deleted all the data that was exfiltrated.

"Too many eyes. We will not sale data to anyone. We cant if we even want to; personally deleted data from drive (Only copy)," the attacker wrote.

But security researcher Brett Callow pointed out that the 10,200 samples that had already been leaked were now being shared by another forum member.

Optus revealed the breach last Thursday. Since then, the company has been strongly criticised by the Federal Government and its version of events contested by the Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil.

"Sorry too 10,200 Australian whos data was leaked," the attacker wrote. One reason for the quick change of mind may have been because there were government email addresses in the dump carried out overnight.

"Australia will see no gain in fraud, this can be monitored. Maybe for 10,200 Australian but rest of population no. Very sorry to you.

"Deepest apology to Optus for this. Hope all goes well from this.

"Optus if your reading we would have reported exploit if you had method to contact. No security mail, no bug bountys, no way too message.

"Ransom not payed but we don't care any more. We mistake to scrape publish data in first place."

Callow, who works for New Zealand-headquartered Emsisoft, tweeted: "It seems the #Optus hacker got cold feet. That said, one forum member seems to think there's more to the story."

However, he added: "It should be noted that the fact the hacker claims to have deleted the stolen data doesn't mean s/he actually did. And, of course, this doesn't help the >10k customers whose data was released and potentially accessed by multiple 3rd parties."

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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