Virgin Media admits breach exposed 900,000 customers’ personal information after database was left unsecured for ten months
- Virgin Media database was left unsecure online for 10 months
- The database contains personal information of 900,000 consumers
- Names, emails, phone numbers and details of contracts were exposed
- The firm said the database was accessed by one third-party in the breach
- Virgin Media says the breach was cause by a staff not following protocol
The personal information of 900,000 Virgin Media customers was left exposed online for 10 months enabling a third-party to access the data.
The company said the breach did not happen due to a hack but occurred as the database was incorrectly configured.
The information in the database did not include passwords or financial details but did contain names, email addresses, phone numbers and details of customers’ contracts with the service.
Virgin Media is blaming the error on a staff member not following correct procedures.
The information was accessible from April 2019 until February 28, 2020.
The personal information of 900,000 Virgin Media customers was left exposed online for 10 months enabling a third-party to access the data. The company said the breach did not happen due to a hack but occurred as the database was incorrectly configured
Virgin Media CEO Lutz Schuler said the company recently became aware of the issue and immediately shut down access to the affected database.
Virgin Media is Britain’s second-largest broadband company and owned by billionaire John Malone’s Liberty Global, according to The Financial Times.
The breach is deemed one of the largest by a UK firm in recent years.
Virgin Media has reassured customer’s that their service was not hacked, but is a result of negligence – a a staff member did not follow the correct procedures.
The company, which is conducting an ongoing investigation, said it believes the database was accessed at least once but does not know the extent of the access.
Virgin Media is blaming the error on a staff member not following correct procedures. The information was accessible from April 2019 until February 28, 2020
Speaking at a media conference in London, Schuler said ‘There is no evidence that the data taken has been used in the wrong way.’
The Financial Times reported that this breach affects about 15 percent of Virgin Media’s paying customers, including some with Virgin Mobile.
However, data from non-customers could have also been included that came from ‘refer a friend’ promotions.
‘We want to avoid any panic.
We all have enough on our plate with coronavirus at the moment but we have to be open about it,’ said Schuler, who said he would apologize to customers for the breach.
Virgin Media customers were hit earlier with another disaster, as many of them were left without internet.
Customer reports of broadband problems surged overnight before reaching a high of around 4,300 by 11am, according to independent outage monitor website Downdetector.
Home and business users alike have been affected by the outage, which appears to have affected parts of the south, including London and Southampton, particularly badly.
The network operator is reportedly scrambling to investigate the cause of the dropout and is working on a quick fix.
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