British telecom giant Vodafone just had over 1,800 customer accounts hacked which could mean big trouble for the company.
One of the UK’s biggest telecommunications companies fell victim to hackers this week, with over 1,800 customer accounts coming under fire. According to a report from the BBC, criminals gained access to personal information like customers’ names and bank account details.
The company acknowledged that hackers had gained access to this information, but they maintained that none of their systems had been compromised. The breach is currently under investigation, and the company is carrying out ‘mitigating actions’ on a handful of accounts to correct any fraudulent uses of data.
The recent attack comes after another mobile phone and broadband company TalkTalk was hacked, leaking personal and banking details to cyber attackers. Vodafone maintained that its security systems were effective at the fundamental level, but hackers were able to access the names of customers, their phone numbers, bank sorting codes and the final four digits of their account numbers.
The company has notified the 1,827 customers of the attack and reaffirmed that other accounts were not accessed whatsoever.
The BBC recommends taking a few steps to help minimize your risk of exposure to hackers who could potentially use this identifying information to commit identity theft and bank fraud. If your account was accessed, you should get in touch with your bank right away and let them know about the breach. The banks can take measures to ensure that any fraudulent charges not authorized by you are removed from your account.
The BBC also recommends being wary of phishing emails that attempt to get you to voluntarily submit personal information on an official-looking form. Be careful of who you trust with this personal information on the internet. Keep your banking passwords, account info, and login details private. In the UK, the Action Fraud police seek to protect customers from hackers and any suspicious activity may be reported directly to their website.
Vodafone maintains that all of the information accessed was nonspecific enough to prevent serious fraud, but it is easy to see why the breached account holders are uncomfortable. Criminals may attempt to follow up with the customers who had their data accessed and gain more identifying information through phishing attempts.
According to the BBC’s technology correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones, e-mail addresses and passwords used to break into Vodafone accounts were likely purchased on the “dark web.”
A spokesperson from Vodafone said that the accounts that were hacked were blocked and the banks of the account holders had been notified. The company also notified the National Crime Agency, the Information Commissioner’s Office, and Ofcom about the incident.
According to a spokesperson from the NCA, the agency confirmed that Vodafone had reported the breach, and is working with the company to address the issue.
According to a statement from Vodafone, “Whilst our security protocols were fundamentally effective, we know that 1,827 customers have had their accounts accessed, potentially giving the criminals involved the customer’s name, their mobile telephone number, their bank sort code, the last four digits of their bank account.
“Our investigation and mitigating actions have meant that only a handful of customers have been subject to any attempts to use this data for fraudulent activity on their Vodafone accounts.”