Dixons Carphone admits data breach from July 2017

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The company, which trades under names including Currys PC World, Carphone Warehouse and Dixons Travel, says that two separate incidents have led to the theft of around 1.2 million general user data files and a whopping 5.9 million card details.

Dixons Carphone says the hack began in July a year ago, so if you purchased anything or used their services since summer 2017, you may have been caught up.

The database did not have the chip and pin codes or card verification values (CVV) allowing purchases to be made, it said.

In addition, Dixons Carphone said 1.2 million personal data records were hacked.

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The group is contacting all those affected, but sought to assure it had no evidence that this had resulted in fraud at this stage.

'The protection of our data has to be at the heart of our business, and we've fallen short here.

"We've taken action to close off this unauthorised access and though we have now no evidence of fraud as a result of these incidents, we are taking this extremely seriously".

However, it was quick to add that 5.8 million of these cards had chip and PIN protection, and that the data stolen did not include pin codes, card verification values (CVV) or authentication data - making it more hard for the hackers to monetize the breached data. But around 105,000 of them were issued outside the European Union and do not have the same protections. As of now, there are no known cases of any fraudulent use of the compromised data, the company claims.

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The company said it had informed the relevant authorities, including the Information Commissioner's Office, the Financial Conduct Authority, and the police. Paul German, CEO at Certes Networks, commented: "Despite the well-publicised Target data breach, it seems that other retailers are still not adopting appropriate cybersecurity strategies". Baldock added that Dixons Carphone has also "added extra security measures" to its systems.

The group added it did not believe the personal data accessed had left the group's systems, but was advising those affected on protective steps they should take.

"The fact this only came to light now thanks to a review of the company's systems and data and actually occurred in 2017 is also cause for some concern", he said.

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