The phone numbers of hundreds of Australian politicians, including former prime ministers Julia Gillard and John Howard, were available online for more than three months after an administrative error, local media reported on Monday.
The oversight came when the Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS) published politicians' phone bills online, as is standard procedure, but forgot to properly delete the numbers, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Instead of being removed completely, the font of the numbers was simply turned white, meaning the information could still be found using copy and paste.
The numbers were only deleted on Monday when media alerted the DPS to the security breach.
A DPS spokesman blamed a private contractor for the error. "The DPS removed the documents from the APH website shortly after it was alerted to the issue and is working with the contractor to investigate the cause," a spokesman told the Herald.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was not among the politicians affected, but the phone numbers of several Cabinet ministers, as well as that of opposition leader Bill Shorten, were included in the breach.
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