In Depth

Dixons Carphone customers involved in ‘huge’ data breach

Hackers attempted to access around 5.9 million payment cards

Technology retail giant Dixons Carphone has revealed that hackers attempted to steal 5.9 million card details in what is being dubbed a “huge” data breach last July.

The company says it discovered the data breach while reviewing its “systems” and has since “taken action” to block the backdoor used by the intruders.  

The hackers reportedly attempted to access the details of around 5.9 million payment cards used in Currys PC World and Dixons Travel stores, the company says. 

Some 5.8 million cards have chip and pin protection, the company adds, and that it has found “no evidence” of fraudulent use. 

However, 105,000 payment cards not protected by chip and pin were accessed, The Guardian reports, although Dixons Carphone has contacted the banks relating to the leaked accounts. 

Director of consumer watchdog Which?, Alex Neill, told the newspaper that the leak will “cause worry to millions of customers and raises serious questions about how Dixons Carphone has been looking after customers’ data.”

“It is critical the company moves quickly to ensure those affected get clear information about what has happened and what steps they should take to protect themselves”, he said.

But the leak goes beyond payment cards, says Sky News, as the personal details of an estimate 1.2 million customers were also hacked.

Customer names, addresses and email accounts were accessed through the data leak, the broadcasted reports, but Dixons Carphone claims that it has no evidence that the information left its internal systems. 

“This is a very serious incident”, says the BBC’s tech correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones, who argues that the leak may be connected to a data leak at Carphone Warehouse 2015, where the personal details of 2.1 million customers were accessed by hackers. 

But Dixons Carphone claims it only discovered the recent data leak last week and that it is not linked to the Carphone Warehouse incident, the BBC reports.

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