Britain's Dixons Carphone discovers unauthorized data access

Geldrop. The unprecedented global ransomware cyberattack has hit more than 200,000 victims in more than 150 countries Europol executiv

Electronics retailer Dixons Carphone has suffered a massive data breach, with attackers accessing 5.9 million customer payment-card details and a further 1.2 million records containing personal information.

The company said the probe was continuing, but it had found that there was an attempt to compromise 5.9m cards in one of the processing systems of Currys PC World and Dixons Travel stores.

Carphone Warehouse said it had no evidence that the information had left its systems or resulted in any fraud, but it was contacting those affected to advise them.

According to the company, the vast majority of the cards (5.8M) were protected by chip-and-PIN technology - and it says the data accessed in respect of these cards contains "neither pin codes, card verification values (CVV) nor any authentication data enabling cardholder identification or a purchase to be made".

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"Cybercrime is a continual battle for business today and we are determined to tackle this fast-changing challenge", Chief Executive Officer Alex Baldock said in the statement.

"The protection of our data has to be at the heart of our business, and we've fallen short here", he said.

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

The breach was now being investigated by police, it said, while regulators had also been informed.

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"The NCSC website offers advice to organisations about ensuring their online security is as robust as possible, including guidance on protecting bulk personal data from cyber attack", they added. We promptly launched an investigation, engaged leading cyber security experts and added extra security measures to our systems. As of now, there are no known cases of any fraudulent use of the compromised data, the company claims.

It comes after telecoms firm TalkTalk was hit by a major cyber attack in October 2015, which saw the personal data of almost 160,000 people accessed by hackers and left the firm facing a record £400,000 fine for security failings.

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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