Vodafone Says U.K. Customers Accounts Accessed by Hackers

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Vodafone said it noticed attempts to access customer account details between midnight on Wednesday and noon on Thursday, when it started an investigation.

Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg
  • No customers' credit card or debit card numbers were taken
  • Company is contacting about 1,800 customers who were affected

Vodafone Group Plc. said criminals accessed customer account details, including phone numbers and some bank details, in the second hacking attack in just over a week on a U.K. phone carrier.

The company is contacting about 1,800 affected customers, Vodafone said in a statement Saturday. The hackers accessed subscribers’ e-mail addresses and passwords through a third party and Newbury, England-based Vodafone’s own systems weren’t breached, the company said.

Vodafone said it noticed attempts to access customer account details between midnight on Wednesday and noon on Thursday, when it started an investigation. On Friday, the company notified the National Crime Agency and Information Commissioners’ Office, which is responsible for guarding personal data privacy in the U.K.

TalkTalk Telecom Group Plc said on Oct. 23 that its systems had been attacked and that the provider of broadband and TV packages received a ransom demand from hackers. Police have arrested two teenage boys and a 20-year-old man in connection with the hack, which may have exposed fewer than 21,000 unique bank account numbers. At the time of the TalkTalk incident, Vodafone said it had a team of security experts that monitor the status of its network and computer systems “continuously” to keep customer data safe.

Hackers may have potentially gained access to Vodafone customers’ names, phone numbers and the last four digits of their bank account numbers. A “handful” of customers have been subject to fraudulent attempts on their accounts, Vodafone said.

Vodafone had more than 18 million mobile customers in the U.K. at the end of June.

T-Mobile US Inc., Dixons Carphone Plc and Sony Corp. are among companies that also have sustained hacking attacks in the past year. Adultery website AshleyMadison.com was hit in July, and the perpetrators ended up releasing information they said included details of more than 36 million users including full names, e-mails and banking information.

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