AFP works with foreign law enforcement on Optus breach

Editor’s Note: Audio clips of Deputy Commissioner Gough are available via Hightail.

AFP is gathering crucial evidence of the Optus data breach and working closely with foreign law enforcement to identify the perpetrators of this attack.

Operation Hurricane was launched to identify the criminals behind the alleged breach and to help protect Australians against identity theft.

AFP is aware of reports of sales of stolen data and investigations are continuing.

To protect the integrity of the criminal investigation, AFP will not release any information it obtained during the early days of Operation Hurricane.

However, the public can be assured that since an Optus report of September 23, 2022, AFP has diverted significant resources to the investigation.

The newly created AFP-led JPC3, which is a joint partnership between law enforcement, private sector and industry to combat the growing threat of cybercrime, provides additional capabilities in the investigation.

AFP also works closely with Optus, the Australian Directorate of Signals and overseas law enforcement.

Cyber ​​Command Assistant Commissioner Justine Gough said while the investigation was going to be extremely complex and time-consuming, it was important to note that AFP specializes in investigations of this type.

“This is an ongoing investigation, but it is important for the community to know that AFP and our partners are doing everything in their power to identify the responsible offenders and also to ensure that we can protect people. who are now potentially vulnerable to identity theft,” Assistant Commissioner Gough said. said.

“We know this can be a stressful time for many in the community, so I want to be clear and honest with the public.

“We are aware of reports of stolen data being sold on the dark web and that is why AFP monitors the dark web using a range of specialist capabilities. The criminals, who use pseudonyms and anonymizing technologies , can’t see us, but I can tell you that we can see them.

“A key objective, which we have had success with in the past, is to identify these criminals.

“It is an offense to sell or buy stolen identity documents, with penalties of up to 10 years in prison.

“Our presence and reach extends beyond Australia’s borders, and AFP’s specialist cyber investigators are permanently based in the UK, US, Europe and Africa.

“We will use all of our technical capabilities and tools to protect the public against cybercrime, but we also need the public to be extremely vigilant.

“Cybercrime is the breaking and entering of the 21st century and this offense is not the first and likely won’t be the last.

“With that in mind, we’re asking all Australians to think about their online safety and take practical steps to better protect themselves against scams and phishing attempts.”

Members of the public, particularly current and former Optus customers, should be extremely vigilant in monitoring unsolicited text messages, emails and phone calls.

“However, this message is extended to all Australians,” Assistant Commissioner Gough said.

“AFP will work hard to educate the community and businesses on how to make themselves safer online, because ultimately it is our job to help protect Australians and our way of life.”

For practical advice on cybersecurity, visit: https://www.cyber.gov.au/acsc/individuals-and-families

Those who believe they have been victims of cybercrime should immediately contact ReportCyber ​​at: https://www.cyber.gov.au/acsc/report

If you are concerned that your identity has been compromised, contact the National Identity and Cyber ​​Assistance Service IDCARE: https://www.idcare.org/

Media inquiries:

AFP media: (02) 5126 9297

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