OPTUS hack 1 – what you should do (update)

OPTUS hack update 1- the OPTUS hack fallout continues, but there are now three surefire ways to safeguard your data.

First, please read OPTUS Hack – an update to determine your risk level. It is pretty fair to say that scamming via SMS, email, and phone has affected some Optus users.

We understand that Optus Account takeover has been stopped as Optus blocks SIM swaps and change of ownership (unless you personally go to an Optus store).

This advice is to stop hackers from applying for credit cards, loans, and bank accounts in your name.

Credit Savvy https://www.creditsavvy.com.au/ is an Android or iOS App, or you can access it via a web browser. It is an initiative of the Commonwealth Bank, so it is safe.

Download the App or go to the webpage, open an account, verify who you are and request a ban on accessing your credit report. The initial ban is 21 days, and it can remind you to extend that for a year.

It also tells you your Experian Credit score, and you can take action to improve it. A ban on credit reporting just means that no one can take out a loan in your name. It does not affect your credit rating, and you can lift the ban at any time.

Find out if your email address has been compromised

A quick way is to use Trend Micro email lookup, and it will suggest you download ID Security for Android or iOS to learn more. A good paid anti-virus/malware suite like Trend Micro Device Ultimate Security gives protection and peace of mind. If the Ultimate Suite is out of your budget, the lower-cost Device Security Basic and Device Security Pro also offer ID Security for Android and iOS.

Alternatively, you can check a more in-depth database, ‘Have I been pwned‘, that lists the databases and date your email has been exposed. It also lists the exposed data elements – name, address, job title, passwords etc.

Don’t panic – email exposure by itself is more about getting spam, and you can control that in most mail clients as junk mail. But if your address is there, consider getting another email address (see below) to associate with important online accounts. And make sure you use a Password manager like LastPass (Free basic account – see below), or your anti-virus provider may have one (but decide if you want to be tied to an AV company).

Other methods to stop ID Theft

It involves changing email, phone and some ID documents.

Set up a new email account

Then go to every financial app and change your email address to the new one. That way, all notices come to you and not the hacker.

Get a second phone number and SIM

Get a cheap $5 $10 a month plan https://www.canstarblue.com.au/phone/10-dollar-phone-plans/ and if you have a dual SIM phone, place it in the second sim slot. Then while you are changing the email above, change the phone number associated with the account. Then hackers cannot get SMS and verification codes.

Get new ID

You can apply for a new passport (new number), Medicare card and driver’s license etc. Optus will assist in covering costs for the more at-risk customers – and that is likely not you. Again you will need to associate all these with your online accounts.

Get a Password Manager

We recommend the free LastPass Personal that gives

  • Unlimited passwords
  • Access on one device type – computer or mobile
  • 30-day Premium trial
  • Save and autofill passwords
  • One-to-one sharing
  • Passwordless login
  • Password generator

It is limited to one device – PC or mobile but the paid Families version gives you 6 family members, access on all supported devices and Dark Web monitoring for your email/password. 

OPTUS hack Update 1, OPTUS hack Update 1