Optus network outage Nov 2023: CEO says "no indication" of hack [UPDATED]

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(Image credit: Marlon Trottmann / Shutterstock)

Update (3:15pm AEDT on November 8, 2023): Optus has confirmed some of its mobile and broadband services are “gradually being restored”. In a statement, Optus said, “This may take a few hours for all services to come back on line and different services may restore at different sites over that time. No action is required and services will be automatically restored.”

Original story continues below.

Optus is experiencing a nationwide network outage, with millions of Optus’ mobile and broadband customers unable to make calls or access the internet since at least 4am AEDT on Wednesday, November 8, 2023.

The cause behind the Optus outage is not yet known, but the Optus CEO has stated there is “no indication” of another hack.

On X, formerly Twitter, Optus wrote, “We’re aware of an issue impacting Optus mobile and NBN services and are working to restore services as quickly as possible. We understand connectivity is important and apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

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At 8:30am AEDT, Optus provided a further update that its teams were still working to resolve the nationwide network outage. “Our teams are working urgently to restore services. We will provide updates as soon as possible. We apologise sincerely to our customers,” it wrote on X.

The communications minister, Michelle Rowland, has said that the length of the Optus outage “would indicate potentially a deep network problem” when she appeared on the ABC’s RN Breakfast program.

Optus CEO: “no indication” of another hack

Optus CEO, Kelly Bayer Rosmarin appeared on ABC Radio Sydney and said there is “no indication” that the network outage is the result of another Optus data breach. “There is no indication that there is anything to do with cyber at this stage,” she said.

When asked what caused the Optus outage, Bayer Rosmarin said the telco was still investigating.

“Our team is still pursuing every possible avenue. We had a number of hypotheses, and each one so far that we’ve tested and put in place new actions for has not resolved the fundamental issue.”

“So we’re still working on it and when we have identified a root cause and a time for restoration we’ll be updating everybody as soon as we can,” she said.

Wide-reaching consequences

As the second-largest telco in Australia, Optus’ network outage has wide-reaching consequences. The carrier has confirmed that its landline customers are currently unable to call triple zero (000) emergency services, though mobile customers should be able to do so, as the call will be diverted to another telco network if available.

Various hospitals and healthcare facilities in Melbourne have also been impacted, along with around 400,000 of Optus’ business customers which use its mobile and broadband services to process payments and communicate.

Consumers using 'virtual' mobile providers which utilise the Optus network, such as Amaysim, Circles.Life, Coles Mobile and Moose Mobile, are also unable to access mobile call and data services during the outage.

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Jasmine Gearie
Ecommerce editor

Jasmine Gearie is an ecommerce editor at TechRadar Australia, with a primary focus on helping readers cut through the jargon to find the best mobile and internet plans for their needs. She crunches the numbers to maintain dedicated guides to the latest phones, NBN and broadband plans of all types, and covers the important telco industry news. She also hunts down tech deals on laptops, phones, gaming consoles and more, so readers know where to buy the products they want for the cheapest prices.