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Optus to appoint Deloitte to review cyber security systems; Singtel says reports on potential fines 'speculative'

“While no legal notice of a class action has been received, lawyers have been engaged to advise," says Singtel.

Optus, the Australian subsidiary of Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel), says it is appointing Deloitte to conduct an independent external review of the recent cyberattack, and its security systems, controls and processes.

Optus had announced the cyberattack, which resulted in unauthorised access to its customers’ information on Sept 22.

The review was said to be recommended by Optus’ CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, and was supported unanimously by the Singtel board.

As part of the review, Deloitte will undertake a forensic assessment of the cyberattack and the circumstances surrounding it.

The review will also play a “crucial role” in response to the incident for Optus, says Bayer Rosmarin, who added that the group was “deeply sorry”.

She adds that the group recognises the “significant concern it has caused many people” and that it is “determined to find out what went wrong”.

“This review will help ensure we understand how it occurred and how we can prevent it from occurring again. It will help inform the response to the incident for Optus. This may also help others in the private and public sector where sensitive data is held and risk of cyberattack exists,” she says.

Deloitte’s global specialists will work with the Singtel and Optus teams and other international cyber experts. The group will also continue also to engage with relevant stakeholders.

In addition to the statement, Singtel has clarified that the media reports citing potential fines or costs associated with the incident are “speculative” at this point and advises that these reports “should not be relied upon”.

“While no legal notice of a class action has been received, lawyers have been engaged to advise. Any class action will be vigorously defended, if commenced,” reads the statement put out by the telco on Oct 3.

“Optus is working closely with identity document issuing authorities to ascertain the appropriate next steps for customers. Singtel is continuing to evaluate the potential financial implications arising from this matter and any material development will be disclosed to the market on a timely basis,” it adds.

Shares in Singtel closed at $2.66 on Sept 30.

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