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March Data Breach Roundup

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We’re full speed ahead into Spring, and as expected, we’re being blessed with longer nights and warmer weather. But unfortunately, that doesn’t bring an end to data breaches.

Here you will find our short roundup of the most significant data breaches uncovered in March 2022. From cyber attacks on a UK ferry operator to an international crypto hack.

Have you been a victim of a data breach that has put your personal details at risk? Should you be looking for expert advice and support, please get in touch with the team at Hayes Connor today.

The biggest data breaches uncovered in March 2022

Cyber attack on UK ferry operator compromises customer and staff personal data

Wightlink ferry operator recently discovered in March that their IT systems had been breached back in February.

This cyber attack meant that a number of customers and staff were affected, with sensitive details, including full names, bank account numbers, sort codes, addresses and signatures determined to be compromised after an investigation into the matter.

The Wightlink ferry operator confirmed that since being made aware of the breach that they have contacted independent experts to investigate the matter.

To read more about the story, click here.

The Isle of Wight council accidentally share personal data identifying children

A data breach led to personal details of 90 families being accidentally shared with 80 parents of home-schooled year 11 pupils on The Isle of Wight.

The breach occurred when an employee of The Isle of Wight Council sent out an email that included a document containing personal details.

The council confirmed they retracted the email quickly and sent a follow-up email to those who had received it to delete the email without opening the contents.

To read more about the story, click here.

Scottish mental health charity SAMH targeted in cyber attack

A Glasgow-based mental health charity that works with adults and young people across Scotland was a target of a cyber attack, which impacted the charity’s emails and phone lines.

The cyber attack is currently being treated as an ongoing investigation by various third-party agencies and Police Scotland.

The charity chief executive, Billy Watson, explained, "It is difficult to understand why anyone would deliberately try to disrupt the work of an organisation that is relied on by people at their most vulnerable,".

To read more about the story, click here.

Sensitive documents blown into gardens and gutters after falling off truck

Around 700 hundred documents ended up scattered across people’s gardens and gutters after they fell out of a bin collectors’ truck.

The documents contained various sensitive details concerning residents in Brent, including full names, addresses and confidential matters.

The North London Council has apologised to those who are victims of the breach and have since reported the data breach to the ICO and have suspended the bin collector provider Veolia from handling any sensitive data.

To read more about the story, click here.

Crypto hack leads to $615 million being stolen from customers

$615 million (£467 million) was stolen from Ronin Network, which powers the mobile game Axie Infinity.

The players earn coins in Axie Infinity by fighting cartoon pets. Ronin Network allows them to exchange these digital coins with other cryptocurrencies.

The hacker is yet unidentified but is thought to have carried out the hack and theft on March the 23rd, with $540 million originally transferred to themselves. The value of the stolen cryptocurrency has now risen to $615 million.

A 23 year old user of the Ronin Network from Ireland stated, "I don't think people fully understand the significance of this hack - $600m is a very big portion of all the assets in this network."

The network has expressed that they are "working with law enforcement officials, forensic cryptographers, and our investors to make sure all funds are recovered or reimbursed".

To read more about the story, click here.

The latest data breach news and announcements

ICO fines H&L Business Consulting Ltd for sending non-consented text messages

A consulting business, H&L Business Consulting Ltd has been fined £80,000 after sending 378,538 marketing text messages between the months of January 2020 and July 2020. Those receiving the texts had not consented to be contacted.

More than 300 members of the public who had received these unsolicited text messages had sent complaints.

The text message sent the following marketing statement:

“Get Debt FREE during the Lockdown! Write off 95% of ALL DEBTS with ALL charges and fees FROZEN. Government backed. Click http://out-of-debts.co.uk. Stop 2optout”

The ICO Head of Investigations, Andy Curry, said, “H&L Business Consulting Ltd sought to capitalise on the COVID-19 pandemic by sending thousands of unwanted text messages directly referencing lockdown, targeting people that may be feeling vulnerable due to the health crisis. This resulted in more than 300 complaints from the public who said they felt anxious and annoyed by those messages.

“The company director failed to cooperate with our investigations through concealing his identity by using false company details on his websites; changing the wording on the text messages; and, changing his company’s registered address after becoming aware of our investigation. None of this worked. We found sufficient evidence to fine this company for disrupting people’s lives with spam messages.”

Speak to our legal experts about a data breach

We often are left with concern about whether our data is in the hands of a cybercriminal and what the potential impact a data breach can have on our lives. If you do face a financial loss due to such a data breach, it can be possible to make a data breach claim for compensation.

There are a number of strict guidelines that all businesses are required to follow to protect their customer’s sensitive information. Where they fail to do so, you are liable to face a damaging impact on your personal life.

At Hayes Connor, our data breach lawyers are experts, with a broad scope of combined expertise, which they use to tackle any data breach you have been exposed to. Our team will provide tailored advice and assistance, while providing sensitive support and guidance.

During your initial meeting, we will listen to the extent of the data breach and the effect it has had on you. From this, we can determine whether you are eligible for a data breach compensation claim and, if you are, the potential compensation you could be entitled to receive.

For further information on our data breach expertise and how we handle such claims, see here.

To start a data breach claim, you can use our online claim form.