Vodafone the UK telecom company has become the latest victim of a cyber attack when nearly 2,000 customer accounts were compromised this past week, exposing phone numbers, personal information and even bank accounts and payment details.
The so called “hack” took place between last Wednesday at midnight and about Noon last Thursday but Vodafone only came public with the information this weekend. The NCA (National Crime Agency) which is equivalent to the FBI, is investigating the hack but it’s believed that usernames and passwords were bought on the “dark web” or “TOR network”.
Vodafone is currently contacting customers that had their personal information compromised.
“Whilst our security protocols were fundamentally effective, we know that 1,827 customers have had their accounts accessed, potentially giving the criminals involved the customer’s name, their mobile telephone number, their bank sort code, the last four digits of their bank account.” Vodafone said in a statement this weekend. “Our investigation and mitigating actions have meant that only a handful of customers have been subject to any attempts to use this data for fraudulent activity on their Vodafone accounts.”
Vodafone has nearly 18 million customers in the UK, so the victimized customers is only a small handful of their overall customer base. It’s not known if other usernames and passwords were at risk and it’s probably achieved from phishing attacks. Because this was from phishing, Vodafone was not “hacked” but rather attackers sent specialty crafted emails to Vodafone users and they clicked a link which sent them to sites appearing to be from Vodafone, but in reality the sites were stealing the customers username and passwords. The sites then turned around and sold the usernames and password probably on the dark web using Bitcoin or some other less traceable currency.
This should be a good reminder, never click on links from your email. If you receive an email that appears to be real, go to your web browser and type in the URL of the company that you deal with, such as your bank or phone company. Also, be sure to utilize the following methods to keep your computer safe;
Geek Inspector Recommended Security Tools Suite
OpenDNS – Use these free DNS servers on your home network wifi router which will keep your whole network more secure by filtering the bad guys out, before your browser can even surf to their sites.
Avast – Free Antivirus, it works well and its lightweight. Best of all, it’s free – just be sure to not upgrade to the pay for version.
HerdProtect – A great scanning tool that analyzes your system and submits hashes to determine if the files are good or not. Run this monthly.
Spybot Search and Destroy – Great tool to keep spyware and adware off your system but can also clean your system if you have any.