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Telstra has been forced to reset the passwords of 60,000 BigPond customers following last Friday’s revelations that customer information including passwords, usernames, phone numbers and addresses had been indexed by Google and could be accessed by anyone.

After being informed of the situation, Telstra took down the BigPond e-mail service, as well as online billing and other services. The e-mail service remained off the air until late on Saturday.

All services have now been restored, and Telstra has informed the Privacy Commissioner of the breach, as it is required to do.

The commissioner has launched a formal investigation. “I have asked that Telstra also provide me with a detailed written report on the incident, including how it occurred, what information, if any, was compromised and what steps [it has] taken to prevent a reoccurrence,” Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim said. He has promised a report by late January.

– Footnote: CDN retracts yesterday’s report which said we had been affected by the outage but had not received an apology or any other note about the affair. A handsome apology headed “we are sorry we let you down this weekend” – apparently standard to all affected users – arrived in the e-mail yesterday morning, signed by customer service boss Peter Jamieson. 

Jammo said the decision to “temporarily reduce access to these services was not taken lightly and I know that our actions resulted in a poor online experience for you and was a source of frustration.”

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