It’s Telstra’s Turn for a Data Breach: A Third Party Has Exposed Staff Info

It’s Telstra’s Turn for a Data Breach: A Third Party Has Exposed Staff Info

The term ‘data breach’ has, in the last few weeks, worked its way into everyday conversation in Australia, thanks mostly to the failings of Optus. But now, details have emerged of another data breach affecting the Aussie telco sector – this time, it’s Telstra and it is employees that are at risk.

Brought to our attention first by The Australian, Telstra reportedly sent out a memo to staff over the weekend informing them of the data breach. It has since been confirmed by Telstra, with a spokesman telling Gizmodo Australia that the data breach affecting a third party included “limited” Telstra employee information from 2017. It is understood the third party handled Telstra’s rewards program for staff.

The data breach is believed to affect around 30,000 current and former staff, with their names and email addresses posted on what is believed to have been the same forum as the Optus customer data was. According to, 12,800 of the names leaked were still employed by Telstra.

Telstra clarified it was not to blame for the data breach and insisted the data exposed was not highly personal.

“To be clear, it was not a breach of any Telstra systems,” the spokesperson said.

“The data released is very basic in nature – limited to full names and email addresses used to sign up to the platform.”

The spokesperson also confirmed that no customer account information was included in the breached info.

“We believe it’s been made available now in an attempt to profit from the Optus breach,” the spokesperson added. “The relevant authorities have been notified, we’ve let current employees know, and while the data is of minimal risk to former employees, we will attempt to notify them too.”

On September 22, Optus disclosed it had fallen victim to a cyber attack. Optus is yet to provide an analysis of what exactly happened, but what we know is that data on current and former customers such as name, address and date of birth, and in some cases, driver’s licence or passport info and Medicare info is at risk.

This article has been updated since it was first published.

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