Vodafone says hackers broke into nearly 2000 customer accounts this week

1 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Hackers got into 2000 Vodafone customer accounts.

(Reuters) – Vodafone U.K. said on Saturday hackers had accessed the accounts of 1,827 of its customers this week, the second cyber attack on a British telecoms company this month.The mobile phone provider said 1,827 accounts were accessed, potentially providing criminals with customers’ names, mobile numbers, bank sort codes and the last four digits of their bank accounts.Vodafone Group Plc. said criminals accessed customer account details, including phone numbers and some bank details, in the second hacking attack in just over a week on a U.K. phone carrier. But no credit or debit card details were accessed and the information obtained by the criminals “cannot be used directly to access customers’ bank accounts”.

A Vodafone spokesman said: “This incident was driven by criminals using email addresses and passwords acquired from an unknown source external to Vodafone. Vodafone’s systems were not compromised or breached in any way.” It has also emerged that online comments by a Talk Talk representative may have unwittingly encouraged hackers to test the telecom firm’s cyber defences in the run up to the latest hacking attack.

Last week broadband, TV, mobile and fixed-line service provider TalkTalk said it had been hacked, potentially putting the private details of its 4 million customers into the hands of criminals. One of the firm’s customer service representatives wrote on Twitter that information about some of Talk Talk’s customers held by Carphone Warehouse data systems may not have been encrypted.

On Friday, the company notified the National Crime Agency and Information Commissioners’ Office, which is responsible for guarding personal data privacy in the U.K. Talk Talk has now confirmed that as many as 1.2 million email addresses, names and phone numbers were exposed, along with 21,000 bank account numbers and sort codes – information which could be used by criminals attempting to scam customers. At the time of the TalkTalk incident, Vodafone said it has a team of security experts that monitor the status of its network and computer systems “continuously” to keep customer data safe.

It is thought these potential weaknesses may have been the subject of discussion on online forums used by hackers in the weeks before the most recent attack took place. Adultery website AshleyMadison.com was hit in July, and the perpetrators ended up releasing information they said included details of more than 36 million users including full names, e-mails and banking information.

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