Telstra share price on watch following latest telco data breach

Telstra is working to remove the published details of its unlisted customers.

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Key points

  • The Telstra share price is on watch today
  • The ASX 200 telco said a “misalignment of databases” caused the details of 130,000 unlisted customers to be listed
  • There reportedly was no malicious cyber activity involved in the data breach

The Telstra Group Ltd (ASX: TLS) share price is one to watch on Monday.

That's in the wake of a reported data breach, which has seen the data of around 130,000 of the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) telco's customers released publicly.

This comes just two months after insurance giant Medibank Private Ltd (ASX: MPL) revealed significant amounts of medical-related data from its customers had been compromised.

Here's what Telstra investors learned regarding the latest mass data breach over the weekend while the ASX was closed.

What happened with the data breach?

The Telstra share price is on watch after news hit the wires that the names, phone numbers, and addresses of approximately 130,000 customers – who were meant to be unlisted – were accidentally published online on the telco's directory assistance site.

As Bloomberg reports, Telstra said the data breach was not due to malicious outside hackers, as was the case with Medibank. Instead, Telstra indicated the issue was due to a "misalignment of databases".

Commenting on the error that could put the Telstra share price under pressure today, chief financial officer Michael Ackland said (quoted by Bloomberg):

We recently discovered there had been a misalignment of the databases used to provide these services, which resulted in some customers' names, numbers and addresses being listed when they should not have been. This was a result of a misalignment of databases — no cyber activity was involved.

Ackland went on to apologise to the customers impacted by the internal error:

Protecting our customers' privacy is absolutely paramount, and for the customers impacted we understand this is an unacceptable breach of your trust. We're sorry it occurred, and we know we have let you down.

Telstra said it is working to remove the customers' details from its publicly accessible online directory assistance. The ASX 200 telco will launch an internal investigation.

Telstra share price snapshot

As at Friday's close, the Telstra share price is down 1% over the past 12 months. That compares to a full year loss of 2% posted by the ASX 200.

As you can see in the price chart below, Telstra shares have enjoyed a much better second half, gaining 7% over the past six months.

Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Telstra Group. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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