An alleged 19-year-old from the Sydney suburbs sent extortion SMS messages to Optus data breach victims.
A juvenile threatened to blackmail victims whose data was released online in an attempt. For getting profit from the significant data breach at a telecoms operator Optus was apprehended by Australian Federal Police.
The 19-year-old guy is accused of sending texts to 93 of the 10,200 Optus clients whose information was published online by the hacker who took millions of customer records from the mobile network company. The kid, whose identity is being withheld by police. Allegedly threatened to commit financial crimes using the victims’ private information unless he got a payment of AU$2,000, or around US$1,300.
The investigation into the Optus data breach is still underway, and police say they are “aggressively following all lines of inquiry”. But the youngster is not a suspect in that case. Late last month, the hacker responsible for the breach changed his mind about selling the complete collection of stolen client details. The hacker said in a forum, “Too many eyes,” (see Optus Attacker Halts AU$1.5 Million Extortion Attempt).
A mobile phone that was reportedly used to transmit extortion messages was seized by police when they apprehended the would-be extortionist on Thursday morning at his residence in the Sydney suburb of Rockdale. It appears that none of the receivers made a payment.
The kid was accused by police of dealing with identification information and accessing a telecommunication network. With the aim to commit a severe criminal, both of which have maximum sentences of 10 and seven years, respectively.
Customers of Optus have been warned to be on the lookout for scams by a variety of public sector organizations. These include the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Phishing and SMS communications with the Optus breach subject have already been distributed by numerous malicious actors.
There are “checking message boards and other websites for evidence of criminal activity related to this incident. There may still be other arrests even if there has already been one “Assistant Commissioner Justine Gough of the Australian Federal Police stated in a statement.