Telstra sending SMS to wrong numbers after exchange fire

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Telstra sending SMS to wrong numbers after exchange fire

Security concerns for 2FA.

Text messages sent from Telstra's mobile customers yesterday were delivered to the wrong recipients following equipment issues caused by an exchange fire in the telco's Chatswood facility.

After the fire caused damage to power equipment in the exchange, mobile users - both Telstra and non-Telstra customers - reported receiving text messages not intended for them.

Telstra confirmed the fire had an impact on SMS, and paused processing of text messages while it worked on the problem. 

It meant that SMS over the Telstra network after the fire at around 1:40pm this afternoon likely did not reach their intended destination.

Telstra is yet to detail the cause of the fire or the SMS problems.

"As a result of the Chatswood Exchange fire today its possible some SMS messages have been incorrectly delivered," a Telstra spokesperson said.

"As mentioned previously customers won’t be receiving SMS messages in the short term while we resolve this issue."

Security concerns have been raised by Telstra mobile customers using SMS as two-factor authentication for services like banking and for password resets.

"Nice wake-up call for CIOs to look at adding more than one 2-factor method to their apps," IT consultant Justin Warren said on Twitter.

Telstra CEO Andy Penn apologised for the SMS bungle and called it "extraordinarily unusual.”

“I’ve never known that to happen before," he said.

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