19 Year Boy Arrested For Using Leaked Optus Breach Data

A 19-year-old boy was arrested by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in Sydney for allegedly using Optus customer data to make money by threatening them. The suspect used 10,200 records leaked by Optus hackers last month and threatened victims with data theft via SMS unless they paid AUD 2,000 ($1,300) within two working days.

The scammer used a Commonwealth Bank of Australia Account to receive ransom money. The AFP could identify the account and obtain information from the bank about the holder.

According to AFP, the young man arrested allegedly sent blackmailing messages and threats to 93 people whose personal data was exposed by Optus. However, none of the ransom payments were made by any of them.

The Boy Faces Charges For

  • Blackmailing: A crime that involves the use of a telecommunications network to commit a serious offense (section 474.14(2) of the Criminal Code Act 1995, Cth) and can result in up to 10 years imprisonment.
  • Contravening section 192K (NSW) of the Crime Act 1900 (NSW), identification information is punishable with a maximum of seven years imprisonment.

Although the hackers responsible for Optus’ breach are not yet identified, AFP is continuing its investigation as part of Operation Hurricane.

Assistant Commissioner Gough stated that the AFP is a top priority and that they are aggressively pursuing every avenue of inquiry to find those responsible.

An announcement of the international operation was enough to deter the threat actors from continuing their extortion. They even declared that all data taken from Optus was deleted.

Optus released an update two days ago on its ongoing internal investigation findings. It confirmed that 9.8million customers had been affected in various ways and that 2.1 million of these customers had stolen their government ID numbers.

Many of these people will require new IDs. The Australian government is asking Optus to pay for this cost.

Official Statement By Australian Federal Police

“Assistant Commissioner Cyber Command Justine Gough said the man was not suspected of being the individual responsible for the Optus breach but allegedly tried to financially benefit from the stolen data that was dumped on an online forum”

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