22.11.16

Breach at UK Telecom

British telecom and internet service provider Three has reported a major breach of its upgrade database, impacting nearly six out of its nine million users. Hackers reportedly compromised users’ personal details by accessing the database with employee login credentials. However, the stolen data does not seem to include customer payment, credit or bank account information. So far three individuals have been arrested in relation to the breach, and all three have since been released on bail.
The Cipher Take: In a similar incident last year, UK broadband provider TalkTalk experienced a series of security failures that led to a cyber attack affecting four percent of the company’s four million users, costing it nearly 60 million pounds, and more recently, a 400,000 pound fine from Britain’s data protection regulator. Even though publicizing breaches can be detrimental to companies’ reputations in the short-term, experts agree they should be reported as soon as possible to address the breach effectively and efficiently. While it may not be reasonable to expect companies holding sensitive personal data to avoid breaches altogether, the way in which a company responds can have a significant impact on consumer trust.

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