British electronics retailer Carphone Warehouse on Saturday, admitted a security breach at one of its systems, which might have led to the personal data of as many as 2.4 million of its customers being compromised. Dixons Carphone, which owns the Carphone Warehouse brand alongside Currys and PC World and operates websites like OneStopPhoneShop.com, e2save.com and Mobiles.co.uk, disclosed that the potential breach of security resulting from a “sophisticated cyber-attack” within the last couple weeks, could have given hackers access to names, addresses and bank details of millions of people including 480,000 Talk Talk and Talk Mobile customers.
Apologizing for the security breach, Mr. Sebastian James, chief executive of Dixons Carphone, said, “We take the security of customer data extremely seriously, and we are very sorry that people have been affected by this attack on our systems. We are, of course, informing anyone that may have been affected, and have put in place additional security measures”. Carphone Warehouse also said that credit card data of 90,000 customers “may also have been accessed”. The company however says that it stores all such sensitive information in encrypted form, so it would be highly unlikely that the hackers would be able to do anything with it. Either way, the company has started the arduous task of informing each and every potential victim through emails and asking them to get in touch with their banks and / or their credit card companies, as the case may be. The company also informed its customers that they should contact Action Fraud, Britain’s national fraud and internet crime reporting center, at the first notion of any suspicious activity going on with their banking account or their credit card.
Customers and critics meanwhile gave vent to their concerns and frustrations on social media and accused the company of “staggering incompetence” while mocking the CEO for his apologies in the aftermath of the cyber-attack. The company however claimed that the breach affected only a small number of its customers as the data of Currys and PC World customers, as well as that of “the vast majority” of Carphone Warehouse customers are still secured as they’re held on separate systems.