UK – Vodafone Group Plc (LON: VOD) announced on Saturday that 1,827 user accounts were compromised as hackers gained access to them. It is the second attack against a British telecom company this month, TalkTalk Telecom Group Plc (LON: TALK) being the previous victim.
The company informed that the hackers had potentially access to the user’s bank sort codes, as to the last four digits of their bank accounts and their full names and telephone numbers.
“This incident was driven by criminals using email addresses and passwords acquired from an unknown source external to Vodafone,” a spokesman from Vodafone said, according to Reuters.
The investigation and counter actions led by the company were effective, although not completely. The National Crime Agency (NCA), the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries (Ofcom) were informed as soon as the attack occurred last Friday.
The spokesman assured that only a few attempts of using the stolen data for fraudulent activities were registered from the company. He said that no credit or debit card numbers were obtained by the hackers, although these 1,827 users were still vulnerable.
“We have already contacted the banks of affected customers to alert them to the situation and they are following established procedures in order to protect customers. It is not necessary for customers to contact their bank directly to inform them of the incident,” the company said on a press release.
The company made clear that only the notified customers were affected, saying that all of the rest have no need to be concerned about the safety of their information, as they will keep working on the security as one of the company’s top priorities.
No British telecom company is safe
As reported on October 23, TalkTalk, one of the biggest phone providers in the UK, was also hacked. Names, addresses, dates of birth, personal numbers and even credit card details were stolen from four million customers —the total number of customers that the company has.
However, according to Reuters, two teenagers have been arrested by a possible link with the cyber attack, compromising 21,000 unique bank account numbers and sort codes.