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Personal details of Australian customers being sold by an Indian firm, claims investigation

Source: Pixabay

While phone numbers, records and addresses of Australians were allegedly sold for $350, a higher price of $1,000 was charged for personal details of a VIP, celebrity, police or politicians.

A Fairfax media investigation has revealed that private information of Australian customers has been compromised by employees at India-based security firm.

This investigation published on Wednesday by Sydney Morning Herald alleges that a Mumbai-based security firm, AI Solutions allegedly sold phone records, phone numbers and home addresses of Optus, Telstra and Vodafone customers for hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars to third parties over several years.

While phone numbers, records and addresses of Australians were allegedly sold for $350, a higher price of $1,000 was charged for personal details of a VIP, celebrity, police or politicians.

The investigation was carried out by Fairfax Media where a Melbourne-based corporate intelligence and security company got in touch with a person claiming to be ‘Imran Khan’ at AI Solutions, a Mumbai-based security firm.

During the alleged conversations via text messages, this Indian employee claimed he could get details of customers of three Australian mobile phone companies.

'There are … 3 major telecom numbers details I can provide you. Telstra, Vodafone and Optus,' the employee wrote in a message, according to Sydney Morning Herald.

'VIP, politician, police, celebrity, charges are different,' they continued.

The payment for this information is then asked to be made via remittance services like Money Gram or Western Union.

Spokesmen for Optus, Vodafone and Telstra told Sydney Morning Herald that they were aware of such activity and were taking steps.

An Optus representative said the company had contacted the Australian Federal Police about the issue.

'We would urge anyone who may have information about potential privacy breaches to report it to us for investigation and referral to authorities,' a Vodafone spokesperson said in a statement.

Telstra too urged customers who believed their data may have been breached to contact it so it could investigate and refer to police.

The Federal police told the Sydney Morning Herald that they had talked to representatives with Optus and Vodafone and had also contacted Indian authorities.

Al Solutions is yet to comment.

Source Fairfax Media