Vodafone Hutchison Australia has admitted that an employee of its company has hacked the phone data of Journalist Natalie O’Brien who had been covering news about Vodafone’s alleged violation of data integrity. In a public statement, Vodafone Australia straight away denied any misdeed or security vulnerability of users’ data from their part but agreed that they accessed Natalie’s phone in order to know who her source is.
In 2011, Fairfax journalist Natalie O’Brien gave a detailed coverage on how Vodafone violates security integrity and accesses user data. She also wrote about the security lapses of Vodafone Siebel’s data. It was alleged that Vodafone customers’ data were easily viable and major confidential de tails like driver’s license, Credit card details, address etc through generic passwords. The employee of Vodafone then accesses her personal calls from her phone and all her data in order to identify the whistleblower.
Being a Vodafone customer, Natalie said “It’s a creepy nauseating experience to know that someone has been trawling through your mobile phone account looking at all your call records and private text messages.
“The invasion of privacy is devastating. It plays with your mind. What was in those texts? Who were they to? What did they see? What did they do with the information?”
Vodafone however said:
VHA strongly denies any allegations of improper behaviour. VHA takes its legal and corporate responsibilities very seriously. Over the past four years, VHA has invested heavily in the security of its IT systems. The company has very strict controls and processes around the privacy of customer information, and has appointed a dedicated privacy officer. The privacy of our customers and protection of their information is our highest priority and we take this responsibility very seriously.
In around June 2012, VHA became aware that an employee had, in January 2011, accessed some recent text messages and call records of a customer. VHA immediately commissioned an investigation by one of Australia’s top accounting firms. The investigation found there was no evidence VHA management had instructed the employee to access the messages and that VHA staff were fully aware of their legal obligations in relation to customer information.
Source: The Guardian