Vodafone Australia admits hacking Fairfax journalist’s phone
Vodafone Australia has admitted an employee hacked a journalist’s phone records in an attempt to uncover her sources for stories, but the telecommunications company denies any “improper behaviour”, despite internal emails suggesting it deliberately misled authorities about systemic privacy breaches. In 2011, after a series of stories by Fairfax journalist Natalie O’Brien detailing grave security lapses in Vodafone’s Siebel data system, a Vodafone employee accessed her phone call and text message records in an attempt to uncover company whistleblowers. O’Brien – herself a Vodafone customer – reported that Vodafone’s Siebel data system was vulnerable to hacking, and that the data of millions of customers was available online and easily accessible through generic passwords that were being shared around the company and publicly. Customers’ home addresses, driver’s licences and credit card details were all available online, O’Brien wrote, and criminal groups were paying for customers’ private information. The day after the story broke, a Vodafone employee accessed O’Brien phone records and trawled through the data in order to find out who might have been leaking her information. Writing in the Sun-Herald, O’Brien said she had been devastated by the invasion of privacy. “It’s a creepy nauseating experience to know that someone […]
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