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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.


Billionaire boss pays for staff holiday to Disney



The happiest place on earth became home to the happiest staff on earth after a boss paid for a company break

Ken Griffin is the billionaire boss who booked out an entire Disney World for his staff to cap off a successful year.

Mr Griffin is the Chief Executive at Citadel LLC—a multinational hedge fund and financial services company.

He paid for his staff to visit Walt Disney World in Florida for an all-inclusive weekend away.

“We have built the most extraordinary team not only in our history, but also in the history of finance,” he said.

Around 10,000 people attended the three-day celebrations, including families of Griffin’s staff.

He paid for airfares, hotels, parking tickets, meals and entry into the happiest place on earth.

According to The New York Post, the mega-rich boss said the company has lot to look forward to.

“We have an incredible future ahead of us—and I look forward to the chapters yet to be written.”

A range of musical acts also performed, including Coldplay, Carly Rae Jepsen and DJ Diplo, as part of the weekend of celebrations.

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How did Musk lose his title as the world’s richest person?



Elon Musk has briefly lost his title as the world’s richest person

This is all following a steep drop in the value of his stake in Tesla and his $44 billion purchase of Twitter.

Bernard Arnault, the CEO of LVMH, which includes luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, briefly took over the title, with a personal wealth of $185 billion.

Musk has held the top position since late 2021, but has seen his wealth drop, as Tesla investors are worried that he is focused more on Twitter than the electric vehicle company.

Tesla has lost nearly half of its market value and Musk’s value has fallen approximately $70 billion since he made a bid for Twitter back in April.

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Europe plans to bar Meta from using your personal data 



Europe plans

Europe plans to bar Meta from using your personal data in major ruling

Meta will require permission from its users to serve advertisements based on their personal data, if a confidential EU privacy body has its way.

The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has issued the agency that overseas Meta one month to issue the ruling.

This is yet another blow for Meta. The company makes around 98% of its revenue from advertising, equating to $27.16 billion in the third quarter of 2022 alone.

Meta attracts advertisers due to its ability to specifically target users based on their geographical location, age, and interests. But the company has been forced to reduce a number of its targeting options recently.

This is to avoid advertisers from targeting users based on sexual orientation, health, religion, and a number of other personal characteristics.

But this recent move from the EDPB is just another blow for the social media giant. The company also having to weather Apple’s iOS 14 update that allowed users to opt out of off app tracking, further reducing the ability for advertisers to specifically target individuals with ads.

Providing users with further control over their personal data is another evolution in the data rights discussion. The issues has been raised in various articles and documentaries, including The Great Hack

If passed, Meta users will once again be faced with the million-dollar question. Would they prefer tailored ads or ads that may not be relevant?

While regulations around data privacy will continue to evolve, advertising will never cease. This is particularly true for Meta, which relies on advertising revenue for its existence.

By Dr Karen Sutherland, University of the Sunshine Coast and Dharana Digital 

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