UK mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse has been left reeling from one of Britain’s biggest ever data thefts. It revealed that hackers overloaded its website with online traffic as a ruse to steal the personal banking details of up to 2.4 million people.
The Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack was initiated sometime within the last fortnight, while the major data theft was noticed on Wednesday (5 August), according to an unnamed source familiar with the attack, speaking to the Telegraph.
Carphone made the attack public at the weekend, with the chief executive of Dixons Carphone, Sebastian James, quick to apologise to those affected by the breach.
“We are, of course, informing anyone that may have been affected, and have put in place additional security measures,” he added.
The attack acts as another warning to other businesses about the strength of their cyber security and the importance of contingency plans.
What is DDos?
The Telegraph gave details about the breach, explaining how a DDoS attack involves flooding the target systems with traffic, which can send a network offline.
Then, while security staff work to get the systems back up and running as soon as possible, hackers are left with a relatively free run to carry out a more sinister attack.
Carphone Warehouse customer?
Victims were initially told to make regular checks on their bank account to ensure no irregular activity.
Although as of Monday (10 August) there were no verified reports of fraud using stolen data, sources said.
Carphone Warehouse chose not to make any further comment at this time as it continues to contact customers affected by the breach. It is also co-operating with police and the Information Commissioner’s Office.