Vodafone sacks staff over data breach

Vodafone sacks staff over data breach

Summary: Vodafone has sacked several employees over the privacy leak that exposed up to four million customer records online.


Vodafone has sacked several employees over the privacy leak that exposed up to four million customer records.

The telco fell into hot water following allegations that criminals had been sold access to its sensitive customer database and planned to use the information, which included voice and SMS logs, to blackmail customers.

Vodafone subsequently started an investigation, which is still underway. As a result of its findings up to this point, Vodafone has terminated the employment of several staff members and referred their actions on to the New South Wales Police Service.

ZDNet Australia contacted Vodafone to confirm how many staff members had been terminated and where they worked, but the telco refused to provide specific details as they were part of the ongoing investigation.

Vodafone also said it was improving its security.

"We take data security and the storage of our customers information extremely seriously," VHA CEO Nigel Dews said in a statement.

"Some of the initiatives we had already planned for this year are being brought forward and we will also be conducting an additional independent security review."

Following the Vodafone breach on Monday, Optus said it would also conduct a review of its security policies.

Law firm Piper Alderman said this week it is investigating whether or not to include the breach of customer details in its class action against the telco. According to The Australian Financial Review this week, 15,000 people had signed onto the action, up from 9000 just over a week ago.

Vodafone contacted customers earlier this week via email, assuring them that their details were not available publicly on the internet.

Topics: IT Employment, Security, Telcos

Luke Hopewell

About Luke Hopewell

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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  • I wonder how much of this problem was due to inexperience. IT in Australia seems to be getting rid of older experienced IT staff in droves and hiring young enthusiastic, inexperienced, and often overseas graduates. I suspect many recent IT catastrophes (like NAB) have been caused by this trend. When will IT managers learn that a mix of old experience and young enthusiasm is needed? Maybe too many IT managers and/or CEOs are young and enthusiastic!
  • I think the incidents has brought this issue to light for Vodafone but I am not going to rule out that the other telco players are also in the same or similar boat. Except that no incidents has been publicised for them as yet.

    From what I can tell based on my dealings with Telstra and Optus users, all they needed to do was "login" without any noticeable 2nd factor in the authentication process when they sold me a pre-paid service recently.
  • ROFL at their security measures like changing the password daily instead of monthly!!
  • Whoever is responsible and it may be the CEO and sales bullshit artists, their systems are poorly designed, illogical and their 'security measures' even now are a joke!
  • What is the priority of "security" and "privacy" in a IT company? Google, faceback have been a good example. Most of companies treat those as last although everyone knows they should be treated in highest priority. Profits are always more important than respect customers and strictly follow laws from some companies.