Australia: Optus issues grovelling apology in full page ad as fewer NSW residents required to replace licences

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Optus has taken out a full page-ad and apologised to its millions of customers whose personal information was stolen in the country's largest ever data breach.

The telecommunications giant published the apology in newspapers, and shorter versions in shopping centres, saying it was sorry to its 9.8million customers impacted by the hack.

'We're deeply sorry,' the apology read. 'We're deeply sorry that a cyberattack has happened on our watch.

'We know this is devastating and that we'll need to work hard to regain your trust. The attack was quickly shut down, and we are working closely with authorities to understand how this attack on your privacy occurred.'

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The apology comes as it's revealed fewer NSW customers will need to change their licence numbers because of tougher document verification standards.

Optus has taken out a full page-ad and apologised to its millions of customers whose personal information was stolen in the country's largest ever data breach © Provided by Daily Mail Optus has taken out a full page-ad and apologised to its millions of customers whose personal information was stolen in the country's largest ever data breach The telecommunications giant published the grovelling apology in newspapers, and shorter versions in shopping centres, saying it was sorry to its 9.8million customers impacted by the hack © Provided by Daily Mail The telecommunications giant published the grovelling apology in newspapers, and shorter versions in shopping centres, saying it was sorry to its 9.8million customers impacted by the hack

'Our priority is preventing harm to customers,' Optus wrote in its apology.

'We are here to assist and support you through any personal concern that you may be feeling.

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'We know there's a lot of information and misinformation out there, and we've heard your message that we need to communicate more clearly.

'That's why we've now put together easily accessible materials for you to stay informed on the actions you can take at optus.com.au/support/cyberattack.'

Some 16,000 Optus customers in NSW will have to get their licence replaced - a figure that is staggeringly less than the 1.2million in Victoria and Queensland.

NSW had introduced tougher document verification standards with new rules for passing a national Document Verification Service check updated on September 1.

The change was in the works for the last eight years and came into effect just in time before Optus was hacked and customer's personal information stolen weeks later.

The apology comes as it's revealed fewer NSW customers will need to change their licence numbers because of tougher document verification standards (stock image) © Provided by Daily Mail The apology comes as it's revealed fewer NSW customers will need to change their licence numbers because of tougher document verification standards (stock image)

NSW Customer Service and Digital Minister Victor Dominello said the consequences would've been far worse if the identification standards hadn't been tightened.

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'The Optus breach is terrible for all those impacted,' Mr Dominello told The Sydney Morning Herald.

'But thankfully we have digitised the driver's licence in NSW, which enables us to respond faster than others.'

The ID check requires a two-step process: the licence and physical card numbers.

NSW residents only had part of their licence information stolen and will only need to change their card number and not their licence number.

Some 16,000 Optus customers in NSW will have to get their licence replaced - a figure that is staggeringly less than the 1.2million in Victoria and Queensland (stock image) © Provided by Daily Mail Some 16,000 Optus customers in NSW will have to get their licence replaced - a figure that is staggeringly less than the 1.2million in Victoria and Queensland (stock image)

NSW is the latest state to join Western Australia, the ACT, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory in ushering in the tougher identification rules.

Victoria and Queensland do not have the tough rules with 700,000 Victorians and 500,000 Queenslanders estimated to need a new licence number.

NSW residents may have to wait weeks for a replacement card but can use an updated version on their digital licence much sooner.

Victoria and Queensland drivers do not have access to digital licences so they will have to wait much longer to obtain their new licences.

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Alleged SMS scammer arrested in Sydney for 'using Optus hack data' .
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