Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Dixons Carphone discovers unauthorised data access

Dixons Carphone discovers unauthorised data access

Dixons Carphone Plc said a cyberattack affected nearly 6 million payment cards as hackers sought unauthorized access to customers' personal data.

Dixons says it doesn't believe that the attackers have anything like the amount of data required to use the cards fraudulently.

There was "an attempt to compromise" 5.8 million credit and debit cards but only 105,000 cards without chip-and-pin protection had been leaked, it said.

The latest incident also potentially exposed the personal details of 1.2 million people (name, address, email address), leaving customers more exposed to potential phishing attacks as a result.

The UK Information Commissioner's Office said it was aware of the data breach.

Alex Baldock, the company's new chief executive, apologised for the data for breach and admitted the firm had failed customers.

Dixons Carphone said it had immediately notified the relevant card companies so that they could protect customers.

Last month, the retailer forecast that earnings this year will slump about 21 percent as it closes mobile-phone stores in a contracting United Kingdom household-electronics market.

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In a statement released this morning, the company said during a review of systems and data, it discovered that there has been "unauthorised access to certain data held by the company".

However, an additional 105,000 cards from outside the European Union - with no chip-and-pin protection - have been compromised as part of the breach.

Video: Equifax teaches us what not to do after a data breach.

Signs display the logo of Dixons Carphone at the company headquarters in London, Britain August 1, 2017.

It said it had called in cyber experts and added extra security to its systems following the breach, while also since calling in the police and relevant authorities.

Given the small number of affected cards and the fact that personal data did not leave the network, it's unlikely the firm will be in for a major GDPR fine, unless it emerges that the hackers took advantage of serious deficiencies in the firm's cyber-defenses.

While the breach took place last July, Dixons Carphone only realised that it had occurred in the last week and the notification delay of nearly a year was not a case of the firm covering up the fact, allegedly.

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