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Optus hack – which businesses are at the highest risk of hacks?



A hacker has threatened to release the private information of millions of Optus customers, this includes passports, medicare numbers, drivers licenses and banking information

If you’re one of the millions of Australians affected by the recent Optus data breach, you may be wondering what to do next.

Fortunately, the government has announced that Optus will be footing the bill for anyone who needs to change their driver’s licence number and get a new card.

This process is expected to cost the telco millions of dollars.

In the meantime, if you are concerned about your identity being compromised, experts recommend taking steps to protect yourself such as monitoring your credit report and changing your passwords and identity documents.

Optus has also set up a dedicated hotline for customers who want to know more about the data breach and what it means for them.

The hacker claimed to have accessed Optus customer names, addresses, dates of birth, driver’s licence numbers and credit.

They demanded a $1m ransom in cryptocurrency and threatened to release the data otherwise.

Now, they claim the data has been deleted, but there is no proof of this.

Can the hacker be found?

Susie Jones, Chief Executive at Cynch Security says it can be incredibly difficult to find cybercriminals “which is why it’s such a large market these days unfortunately.”

However, the the actions that they’re taking “certainly does indicate that they’re getting cold feet and certainly becoming a lot more nervous about the attention”.

“So whilst the pessimist cyber CEO hitting me says that they won’t be found. The optimistic Australian certainly hope they will be,” Susie says.

How long do people have to worry about hackers using their stolen ID information?

Good news – It’s not too late.

“The first step that they should be doing is really remaining vigilant and making sure that they’re scrutinising all of their bank accounts, all of their phone records, making sure that they’re really staying on top of what it is that is going on in their accounts and their personal data and personal lives,” Susie says.

“Being very, very careful around scam phone calls and emails. cyber attackers are very good at that now and they will be actively exploiting this opportunity.”

Susie says to make sure that you’re remaining vigilant and stay on top of what the latest scams are, so that you can spot them and delete them straight away.

Optus is in the business of dealing with people’s data and tech as one of Australia’s largest telco’s – what businesses are at the highest risk of ransomeware attacks?

“Businesses of every size, doesn’t matter if you’re a sole trader right up to the likes of Optus, are actively being attacked by cyber criminals every minute of every day.”

“But that’s just a reality. What this does do is raise awareness that personal data that is this is collect, even if it might seem small to yourself, and to the likes of hope this can be incredibly valuable and also from hands can be very, very damaging,” Susie says.

“So for those businesses that are not having to respond directly to this attack, they should be actively reviewing their own processes reviewing what personal information do they collect and store and making sure that they’re keeping it safe.

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Workers rush back to their desks over job fears



Workers across Australia are rushing back to their desks, driving office utilisation rates to their highest levels since February 2020.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays emerge as the busiest in-office days, contrasting with the continued reluctance to return on Fridays.

This insight, drawn from XY Sense data based on 18 enterprise customers in Australia employing approximately 68,000 individuals across 127 buildings, reflects a significant shift in workplace dynamics.

The surge in office attendance coincides with a resurgence in workplace attendance mandates and policies linking physical presence to bonuses and performance reviews.

However, co-founder of XY Sense, Alex Birch, suggests that rising job insecurity, rather than these policies, primarily drives this behavioral shift.

“The pendulum has moved towards the employer, and therefore people feel more obliged to go back into work,” commented Mr. Birch.

Job market

Danielle Wood, chairwoman of the Productivity Commission, anticipates this trend to persist as the job market softens.

She notes a disparity between employer and worker perceptions regarding the productivity benefits of hybrid work arrangements, hinting at potential shifts in the employment landscape.

Meanwhile, economists at the e61 Institute observe a partial reversal of the pandemic-induced “escape to the country” trend.

Rent differentials between regional and capital city dwellings, which narrowed during the pandemic, are now widening again.

This trend suggests a diminishing appeal of remote work options and a return to urban commuting.

Aaron Wong, senior research economist at e61, said the emergence of a “new normal,” characterised by a hybrid lifestyle that blends access to office spaces with proximity to lifestyle amenities such as natural landscapes.

While regional rents decline, rents for homes on the urban fringe surge, reflecting evolving preferences shaped by remote work opportunities.

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Why resilient economy is fuelling demand for Australian property



Despite inflationary pressures, Australian house prices have surged to a record high for the fifth month in a row, as indicated by CoreLogic data.

Australian house prices have not only weathered inflation but have also soared to unprecedented levels, marking the fifth consecutive month of record highs, according to data from CoreLogic.

This resilience reflects the enduring demand for property in the country, showcasing the sustained interest of buyers despite challenging economic conditions.

VentureCrowd’s Head of Property, David Whitting, talks how investors can access alternative ways of property investing.

Presented by VentureCrowd #funding futures #housing #economy

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Three reasons why you don’t need to panic about inflation



Inflation in the US has exceeded expectations for the third consecutive month, driven by increases in essential commodities such as oil, electricity, takeaway food, and medical costs.

  1. Despite a 3.8% year-on-year rise in CPI, it’s notable that this figure has decreased from its previous 9% high.
  2. The robust CPI and economic growth numbers suggest a positive outlook for US corporate earnings.
  3. The S&P500 has seen five 1% drops this year, all of which were met with investors buying the dip.

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