Wonga suffers data breach ‘affecting 245,000 UK customers’

Attack is “looking like one of the biggest” UK breaches involving financial information, expert says

Wonga suffers data breach ‘affecting 245,000 UK customers’

Insurance News

By Lucy Hook

Payday loan firm Wonga has suffered a data breach affecting up to 245,000 UK customers – potentially exposing financial information – in the latest high-profile breach to highlight the importance of cyber insurance.

The company said in a statement it was “urgently working” to establish full details of the attack, which was initially thought to have involved no data when it came to light last week, a BBC News report said.

By Friday, the short-term loan provider understood the attacks to be more serious and began informing customers of the breach by email and text the following day.

Information accessed may have included customer names, email addresses, home addresses, phone numbers, bank account numbers and sort codes, and the last four digits of bank card numbers, Wonga said.

The firm said that full card details were not taken, and it does not believe that user account passwords were compromised, but warned customers to alert their bank and look out for any unusual activity across bank accounts and online portals.

A further 25,000 customers in Poland were also potentially affected, the report said.

The breach is “looking like one of the biggest” in the UK involving financial information, Professor Alan Woodward, a cybersecurity expert at the University of Surrey, told BBC News.
The combination of names, addresses, sort codes and the last four digits of bank cards is “particularly worrying” for customers, Woodward said, adding that other breaches in the UK have generally not included those financial details.

Talk Talk’s high-profile data breach, for which it received a record fine last year, did not include the loss of customer bank account information.

In a statement on its website, which includes advice to customers in the wake of the breach, Wonga said it takes issues of customer data and security “extremely seriously,” adding that cyber attacks are on the rise.

“While Wonga operates to the highest security standards, these illegal attacks are unfortunately increasingly sophisticated,” it added.

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Only 14% of British SMEs have cyber insurance – study

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