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Commonwealth Bank confirms huge data breach

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The Commonwealth Bank is reportedly facing renewed investigations after admitting it lost backup data on tape for more than 15 years of customer statements in 2016, affecting almost 20 million accounts.

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The CBA’s acting group executive for retail banking services, Angus Sullivan, issued a video statement on YouTube after BuzzFeed Australia published an article about the incident last night.

Sullivan assured customers their information had not been compromised and no action was required.

“The tapes did not contain PINs, passwords or other data that could enable account fraud,” he said.

In a statement, the bank said it had confirmed there was no evidence of suspicious activity involving the 19.8 million accounts affected following the incident.

CBA says it had been unable to confirm the destruction of two magnetic tapes containing historical customer statements.

The tapes contained customer names, addresses, account numbers and transaction details from 2000 to early 2016.

An investigation in 2016, when the incident occurred, determined it was most likely the tapes had been disposed of and the bank immediately put mechanisms in place to further protect customers.

“We take the protection of customer data very seriously and incidents like this are not acceptable,” Sullivan said.

“I want to assure our customers that we have taken the steps necessary to protect their information and we apologise for any concern this incident may cause.”

He added that the relevant regulators were informed in 2016 but that the bank had decided it was not necessary to alert customers after discussion with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).

However, BuzzFeed reports the OAIC is now making further inquiries into the incident, following a report by the banking regulator that slammed the bank for its “widespread sense of complacency”.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority said on Tuesday that community trust in Australia’s banks had been “badly eroded” and CBA had failed to meet expectations and “fallen from grace”.

– AAP

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