10 million Australians cut off from the world after a glitch

On Wednesday, a serious glitch at one of Australia’s major telecommunications firms, Optus, led to disconnecting the internet and phone services of over 10 million Australians. 

Consequently, it had a ripple effect on the country’s police, hospitals, banks, and train services, causing chaos and disruptions. The disruption also affected electronic payment systems, and over dozens of hospitals were unable to receive phone calls, including landlines on the Optus network, which could not contact emergency services.

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According to a statement made by Kelly Bayer-Rosmarin, Optus’s CEO, some services had been restored Wednesday afternoon, but the company’s team had not attributed the reason for the defect yet.

However, they clarified that there was “no indication” that the outage was the result of hacking. Perhaps, the company’s previous experience of cyberattack, which led to the data breach of over nine million customers last year, heightened these concerns.

The telecommunication company with more than 10 million customers scheduled a power outage at approximately 4:05 a.m. local time, which caused widespread issues for Optus’ network for the next nine hours. Engineers were struggling to find a solution that would restore the services. Meanwhile, landlines, which were left out of action, affected patients in need of emergency services.

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Despite the mayhem, several organizations, including the Federal Department of Education, Royal Melbourne Hospital, and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, confirmed the issue’s resolution.

The “absolute disgrace” outage caused by human error is still under investigation, according to the Australian Communications Workers Union, demanding greater job security and fewer disruptions.

The abrupt outages reveal the need for stronger cybersecurity measures and protocols to prevent malicious attacks from disrupting essential systems. Hence, telecommunication industries should work continuously to improve their security and build trust with their customers.

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