Dixons Carphone, a major UK electronics retailer, has alerted shoppers to a data breach involving 5.9 million payment cards and 1.2 million personal data records. There is no evidence any cards have been misused following the incident, which is under investigation, Dixons says.
The hacking attempt began last July, with attackers attempting to break into processing systems belonging to Currys PC World and Dixons Travel stores, the company says. Fortunately, the majority of compromised cards were equipped with chip-and-pin security, so only 105,000 cards without that level of protection were affected.
Dixons says it only discovered the hack a week ago and that it's not linked to a security incident that occurred in 2015, which resulted in a £400,000 fine from the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). Experts say this is a wake-up call for organizations to buckle down on security, especially with the European General Data Protection Regulation in effect.
"The Dixons Carphone breach highlights the need for organizations to maintain strong security practices," says Michael Magrath, director of global regulations and standards at OneSpan. "With shake-ups to data protection legislation such as the GDPR now being in force, businesses face huge fines for breaches and lax data security protocols."
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