Customers of the Pipex owned UK ISP Bulldog will be shocked to learn that the majority of its subscribers have had their private and some financial (credit card etc.) details stolen. Perhaps of more concern is the fact that it occurred so long ago and users are only now finding out:
The customer contact details were "illegally obtained" by unnamed phone scammers in 2005, the company's former owner, Cable & Wireless, told The Guardian yesterday.
The stolen information is thought to include bank account and credit card details obtained via unsolicited phone calls to customers. Cable & Wireless, which sold Bulldog's customer base to Pipex last year for £12m, uncovered the theft following an external enquiry.
The VNUNet item reports that the number of customer records stolen was "in the region of 100,000"! Reportedly there was no evidence of said credit card details having been used illegally, but that's a poor response given how impossible it would be to trace any back to Bulldog in the first place.
Bulldog has now begun legal action to prevent any further unsolicited calls, although it's not clear which company is involved. This is some of the most disturbing news we've had to report on recently and Bulldog users would be well advised to request a new card.
Businesses should be held legally accountable if they fail to reveal such breaches of security to the public, especially when it plays into the hands of financial fraudsters. Whether or not C&W knew about it is unclear.
Source: ISP Review