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Singtel confirms digital burglary at Dialog subsidiary

Second of Singapore telco's Australian businesses to be prised open by criminals in weeks

Singtel has confirmed that another Australian business it owns, consulting unit Dialog, has fallen victim to a cyber burglary just weeks after the mammoth data leak at telco Optus was revealed.

In a statement to the Singapore stock exchange, Singtel said intruders may have accessed company data "potentially affecting fewer than 20 clients and 1,000 current Dialog employees as well as former employees."

The unauthorized access to its servers was first detected on September 10. These systems were shut down as a "preventative measures" but restored and fully operational again two days later.

"We contracted a leading cybersecurity specialist to work with our IT team to undertake a deep forensic investigation and continuous monitoring of the dark web. Our ongoing investigations showed no unauthorized downloading of data," Singtel added.

This was until last last week, October 7, when the business was directed to a "very small sample of Dialog's data, including some employee personal information" published on the dark web.

"We are doing our utmost to address the situation and, as a precaution, we are actively engaging with potentially impacted stakeholders to share information, support and advice," Singtel said.

Singtel has notified the relevant authorities and is offering support to those caught up in this mess. Currently there is "no evidence" that the "cyber security incident" at Dialog, which was acquired by Singtel subsidiary NCS Pte in April, is in any way linked to the break-in at Optus.

The breach at Singtel-owned Optus is seemingly huge in comparison, where data on more than 2.1 million of Optus's 9.8 million customers was leaked. This included current and valid forms of ID and personal information on 1.2 million people and ID or personal data that had expired for 900,000 customers.

Singtel has hired Deloitte to help it claw through the wreckage of that incident, and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) has asked the FBI to help them comb the net to spot the perpetrators.

Last week, the AFP arrested a 19-year-old Sydney resident who was allegedly trying to use details of some Optus customers that had been put on the Dark Web to extort money from them. ®

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