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Carphone Warehouse Backlash Rages on After Data Breach

Last week the Carphone Warehouse joined the ever-increasing ranks of brands that have been threatened by substantial data breaches. In what was characterised as 'sophisticated cyber-attack', the personal (and bank) details of around 2.4 million customers were accessed. On top of that, the credit card data of a further 90,000 users was put at risk.

The company was quick to jump on the breach and issue a warning to all its customers and the attack has since gone under investigation, but the social media backlash has continued to gather momentum ever since. This, seemingly, relates to the fact that even though the news actually broke last Wednesday, affected customers weren't informed until Saturday, at which point everybody already knew about the breach. There could have been any number of valid reasons why they waited so long so send the emails out, but Twitter cares not for rational explanations. If it looks sketchy, it's bad. If it looks bad, it's dire.

Beyond that though, people seemed displeased that anything of this nature had been allowed to happen during a time when cyber-security is such a pronounced risk. Coupled with recent revelations about data security on larger social media platforms like Facebook, issues surrounding account deletion and similar data breaches on Playstation Network, eBay, Domino's Pizza, Staples, RBS, Evernote, JP Morgan, Home Depot and Target. In all those cases the data was eventually secured and no long term damage was done, but it's left many people understandably wary of the safety of their personal and financial information.

The motivation for attacks like these can range from an apparent penchant for causing chaos to money to political motivations. North Korea have been earmarked for two recent large scale cyber-attacks, one against Sony and another against a large contingent of South Korean banks and broadcasters in 2013. Their involvement was never directly proven in either case, but the powers-that-be were happy to go on record that they were the culprits.

Are these attacks becoming more frequent? It's difficult to say, it certainly appears so, but news is far less regimented than it used to be and it's a lot harder for corporations to hold things back when something embarrassing happens, so even if there hasn't been a significant increase, it's going to seem that way. The Carphone attack is now being investigated by Scotland Yard, and the company has assured customers that none of the data from their sister chains Currys and PC World have been affected. Currently in the UK businesses spend an average of £34 billion each year on online security, but if the issue is escalating, it might be time to rethink the approach.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Carphone Warehouse Backlash Rages on After Data Breach Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, August 14, 2015 Rating: 5

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