Almost one million Victorian victims of the Optus data hack will be issued with new redesigned licenses for free to help protect against identity theft.
VicRoads has confirmed it will issue the new cards with extra security digits added to the back, similar to the CVV code on credit cards, to allow for two-step verification.
Data obtained by VicRoads from the Department of Home Affairs has confirmed 942,000 Victorian licence holders had varying degrees of their personal information compromised as a result of the data breach.
An initial 342,000 victims VicRoads has confirmed as being directly impacted by the hack will receive their new cards by the end of the year, while the remaining 600,000 identified by the Department of Home Affairs will receive theirs by April 2023.
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“As a first step in response, the Victorian Government has flagged the records of more than 462,000 Victorians impacted who came forward to register their details with VicRoads, with approximately 342,000 of these confirmed as impacted directly from the Optus data,” VicRoads said on its website.
“This has placed an additional layer of protection for their licence details on the Victorian driver’s licence database.
“By the end of the year, these customers will use both their licence number and card number to prove their identity for services like opening bank accounts, loan applications, phone contracts and real estate transactions.”
The major data breach affected up to 9.8 million current and former Optus customers and according to an unverified post published on a hacking forum last month around 3.6 million licence numbers have been stolen.
The other information exposed includes names, date of birth, phones numbers, email addresses, residential addresses, Medicare and passport numbers.
Plans were already in progress to add the extra security numbers to all Victorian driver’s licences, but this month’s Optus data hack has fast-tracked the project.
The state government said it intends to seek reimbursement from the telco giant to cover the license replacement costs.
VicRoads said it’s currently in talks with Medibank to confirm if driver’s licence numbers have been stolen as part of that security breach.
Hackers had access to the personal data of all of Medibank’s more than 3.9 million customers including “significant amounts of health claims data”, the private health insurance giant confirmed on Wednesday.
The revelation came two weeks after Medibank announced it fell victim to a cyber attack after detecting “unusual activity” on its network.
Medibank said its investigation into the incident remains ongoing, with the Australian Federal Police also probing the cybercrime.
“The investigation into the cybercrime event is continuing, with particular focus on identifying which systems and networks were accessed and what data was removed by the criminal,” Medibank said in a statement on Wednesday.
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