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Hayes Connor Solicitors Data Breach Overview: April 2020

Each month at Hayes Connor Solicitors, we take a look at some of the key data breach news that has occurred over the last few weeks. Looking at both significant cases, legal developments, and what’s happening at our firm, we hope to help businesses and individuals to become fully protected in our increasingly online world. So, what happened in April 2020? Find out in our data breach overview.

April 2020 data breach overview

The coronavirus pandemic continued to impact the legal world

And, in response, the UK’s data protection regulator – the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – provided some information on how preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus interacts with data protection law.

FIND OUT WHAT THE ICO HAD TO SAY

We shared how Hayes Connor is continuing to help our clients during the global health crisis

Despite the pandemic, our expert data protection team remained committed to upholding the rights of our clients. All our group actions and individual cases continued to progress, and we received and concluded many claims. And, as the COVID-19 situation continued, we provided an update on how we are able to securely and confidently work on client cases – from initial query right through to settlement.

Scams, ransomware attacks and data breaches became a consequence of the coronavirus outbreak

Video conferencing app Zoom was at the centre of a significant data breach after half a million users’ credentials were sold or given away on the dark web. The breach happened as cybercriminals took advantage of a surge in usage during the pandemic.

Cybercriminals were also reported to be using stolen data to harass healthcare organisations. The World Health Organisation, the Gates Foundation and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (among others) were all affected.

Also, the Maze ransomware group attacked the computer systems of Hammersmith Medicines Research (HMR) – a company which performs early clinical trials of drugs and vaccines. There is a real risk that anyone exposed in the data breach could see criminals use their stolen identity documents to commit fraud (such as taking out a loan in your name). An increase in phishing attempts is also likely.

And, RiskIQ – a world-leading cybersecurity company – warned that that ransomware attacks could be an additional consequence of the coronavirus outbreak. The RiskIQ report gave weight to predictions made by Hayes Connor about a potential increase in data breaches during this challenging time.

Also in April, to help combat the threat of cybercrime, we shared details of some of the most common COVID-19 cyber scams to look out for.

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Another Marriott data breach was uncovered

In 2018, a huge data breach put 339 million Marriott International customers at risk. And, while you think the hotel giant would have learned its lesson, this doesn’t seem to be the case. In fact, Marriott confirmed that it had suffered another data breach – this time involving the personal information of 5.2 million guests. In this breach, hackers obtained the login details of two employees and broke into a Marriott franchise property system during mid-January.

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A Nintendo Switch data hack was confirmed

Nintendo confirmed that it had suffered an enormous data hack after players reported suspicious logins and unauthorised purchases. It is thought that the hack has provided access to around 160,000 people’s online accounts. Attackers were said to be stealing PayPal funds linked to the Nintendo eShop and purchasing expensive in-game currencies. In some cases, these purchases were worth hundreds.

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We revealed that anyone who used an Equifax security product between 2015 and 2017 could have had their data exposed

 Following investigations into the 2017 Equifax data breach, it came to light that anyone who used an Equifax security product between 2015 and 2017 could have had their data exposed. We shared how people who hadn’t been contacted by Equifax about this breach could find out if they were involved.

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We shared how some police officers were suffering from stress after the Equiniti pension data breach

In August 2019, over 750 pension benefit statements, meant for officers of Sussex Police, were sent to the wrong postal addresses. Equiniti, a company that helps manage company pensions, was responsible for distributing the statements. We shared how, since the Equiniti pension data breach, we have been contacted by many officers, some of whom have suffered significant shock, distress, anxiety, and stress as a direct result of the privacy violation.

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About Hayes Connor

At Hayes Connor, we are true experts in data breach law. This is all we do, and we have been doing it longer than most other solicitors. We lead our field when it comes to understanding the complexities involved. What’s more, we have been working to defend consumer rights for over 50 years.

As well as our experienced lawyers, our team also includes some of the UK’s best data breach barristers. This ensures our clients get the very best level of legal support available.

A lack of care and understanding about data breach law can leave victims open to advice and representation below the standard expected. And this could see people lose out financially as a result.  But, despite being the most experienced data protection solicitors around, we also provide no-win, no-fee funding arrangements. So our clients don’t have to worry about costs. There are no hidden charges or administration fees.

Importantly, while we are experts in group actions, we also deal with smaller individual cases. And we understand that for those involved the experience can be devastating. So, regardless of the details, we never belittle anyone’s experience.

And, because making a data breach claim is stressful enough without having to chase your solicitor, we provide regular updates, so our clients always know what’s happening. Together, this experience and expertise ensure that our data breach solicitors are unmatched in the UK.

Contact Hayes Connor Solicitors today for a free, no-obligation, initial assessment of your case and remember to keep an eye out for our May 2020 data breach overview.