Dixons Carphone has admitted a huge data breach involving 5.9 million payment cards and 1.2 million personal data records. It is investigating the hacking attempt, which began in July last year.
Dixons Carphone employs more than 42,000 people in eight countries.
The data hack adds more pressure to a company struggling to regroup. The electricals chain is forecast to report a 23% decline in headline full-year pre-tax profits to £382 million, according to a consensus of City analysts. HSBC’s Andrew Porteous said the figures have been dragged down by the poor performance of the company’s mobile phone division, as well as investment. Dixons Carphone said it had no evidence that any of the cards had been used fraudulently following the breach. There was “an attempt to compromise” 5.8 million credit and debit cards but only 105,000 cards without chip-and-pin protection had been leaked, it said.
The hackers had tried to gain access to one of the processing systems of Currys PC World and Dixons Travel stores, the firm said.
Where does this rank among other data breaches affecting UK consumers?
Facebook banned Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm which worked on US President Donald Trump’s election campaign and has been linked to Brexit, from using its platform in March, days before a whistleblower claimed the company had harvested and stored data about more than 50 million Facebook users without their permission.
The majority of those users were in the US but the UK’s Information Commissioner issued a warrant to search the company’s London offices after it failed to respond to a previous request about the possible illegal use of data.
Uber admitted in November that 2.7 million people in the UK were affected by a 2016 security breach that compromised customers’ information, including names, email addresses and mobile phone numbers.