Dixons Carphone Breach Hits 5.9 Million Cards

Dixons Carphone said it taken action to close off unauthorised access

After British retailer Dixons Carphone admitted a major data breach involving 5.9 million payment cards and 1.2m personal data records many customers will be anxious they could be affected - here's how to find out.

It said an investigation, which started last week, indicated there was an attempt, going back to July a year ago, to compromise data on 5.9 million credit cards in one of the processing systems of Currys PC World and Dixons Travel stores.

Dixons also confirmed that 1.2 million records containing non-financial personal data, such as name, address or email address, have been accessed.

"The protection of our data has to be at the heart of our business, and we've fallen short here". Again, Dixons said there was no evidence that it had resulted in any fraud.

Carphone Warehouse is one of many High Street retailers feeling the strain of tough economic challenges. Paul German, CEO at Certes Networks, commented: "Despite the well-publicised Target data breach, it seems that other retailers are still not adopting appropriate cybersecurity strategies".

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However, it was quick to add that 5.8 million of these cards had chip and PIN protection, and that the data stolen did not include pin codes, card verification values (CVV) or authentication data - making it more hard for the hackers to monetize the breached data.

Dixons Carphone says it has contacted the relevant banks. About 105,000 cards issued outside the European Union, without chip-and-PIN protection, were compromised, Dixons said.

The company has launched an investigation into the incident and is said to be engaged with cyber security experts.

Dixons Carphone informed Britain's data protection regulator the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), as well as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the police.

The company does not reveal when its systems were compromised; nor exactly when it discovered the intrusion; nor how long it took to launch an investigation - writing only that: "As part of a review of our systems and data, we have determined that there has been unauthorised access to certain data held by the company". It said that while its investigation is ongoing, no evidence of fraudulent data use has been found.

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