Slater and Gordon are getting ready for the Optus class action.
After last week's mass data breach, in which the personal information of about 9.6 million Australians was stolen, Optus is now facing a class action lawsuit.
Lawyers from Slater and Gordon are asking any Optus customers who are worried about the privacy breach to sign up for the class action on their website.
Ben Zocco, a senior associate at Slater and Gordon, said, "This could be the most serious privacy breach in Australian history, both in terms of the number of people affected and the kind of information that was leaked."
"We think the effects could be especially bad for people who are weak, like people who have been victims of domestic violence, stalking, or other threatening behavior, and people who are seeking asylum in Australia or have done so in the past."
Given the type of information that may have been shared, these people can't just follow Optus's advice to watch out for scam emails and texts.
"The release of their personally identifiable information, such as their addresses and phone numbers, puts them at very real risks."
Zocco said that driver's license and passport numbers were among the numbers that were stolen. This is a scary thought.
He said, "This information alone would go a long way toward making it easy for a criminal to steal the identity of a customer who was affected."
"We are still looking into possible legal options for customers who have been hurt. In the meantime, we encourage anyone who may have been affected by the data breach to sign up for Slater and Gordon's investigation on our website and to keep an eye out for any suspicious account activity or calls, texts, or emails.
As part of its public apology, Optus is giving "the most affected current and former customers" a free 12-month subscription to Equifax Protect, a credit monitoring and identity protection service that can help reduce the risk of identity theft.
The telco said this morning that the most affected customers will get direct messages from Optus in the next few days about how to start their subscription for free.
"Please note that any communications from Optus about this incident will not include any links. We know that criminals will use this incident to run phishing scams, so we don't want to help them."
The hackers, who are thought to be Anonymous, have given Optus one week to pay a ransom of A$1.54 million or else.
Optus is not likely to pay any ransom.
The Australian Federal Police knows that "stolen Optus customer data and login credentials may be sold on a number of forums," and they say they are using "specialist capabilities to monitor the dark web and other technologies, and will not hesitate to take action against those who break the law."
"It is against the law to buy stolen IDs. Those who do so could go to jail for up to 10 years."