Optus, Australia’s second-largest telecommunications company, on Wednesday reported an outage to its mobile and internet networks affecting millions of customers, but the company did not indicate whether it was due to a cyber incident.
Last year, Optus, the Australian unit of telecommunications company Singapore Telecommunication, was hit by a cyber breach that exposed customers’ personal information including their home addresses, driver’s licenses and passport numbers.
Optus has just over 10 million customers, about 40% of Australia’s population.
“We are aware of an issue affecting Optus mobile and (broadband) services and are working to restore services as quickly as possible,” the company said on messaging platform X.
Posts on social media, whose authenticity Reuters could not verify, stated that the international roaming service was also affected.
Federal Communications Minister Michele Rolland said she had “limited” information about the outage, which affected networks for several hours.
“It would indicate a potential problem in the deep web, which is a big problem,” Rowland told ABC Radio, adding that she was “hesitant to speculate” about a potential cyberattack.
The government has requested more information from Optus, including when services are expected to be restored.
Media reported that Melbourne’s train networks were closed for about 30 minutes due to the disruption, leading to delays during the morning rush.
“There are still significant delays on all lines with some changes and cancellations,” the city’s metro service said on Channel X. Some hospitals said their phone lines were down.
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