British lender Wonga warns customers of personal data hack

  • TECH
  • Monday, 10 Apr 2017

Guilty plea: A Ukrainian computer hacker pleaded guilty on Jan 20 to using more than 13,000 computers to steal log-in and credit card data, US federal prosecutors said.

LONDON: British lender Wonga has warned customers in Britain and Poland that their personal data may have been stolen in the latest major corporate security breach.

Cyber attacks have recently affected other British banks, businesses and institutions, including Tesco Bank, Lloyds, Talk-Talk, and the National Health Service.

"Wonga is urgently investigating illegal and unauthorised access to the personal data of some of its customers in the UK and Poland," the firm, which offers short-term unsecured consumer loans, said in a statement on April 9.

A source close to Wonga said the data could include the addresses and bank account numbers of up to 270,000 past and present customers, including 245,000 in Britain.

"We are working closely with authorities and we are in the process of informing affected customers. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused," Wonga said.

The source said a hack was detected on April 4, but that the firm was not aware personal data had been compromised until April 7 and it began notifying customers on April 8.

The so-called "payday lending" industry has been heavily criticised by those who say its interest rates and marketing tactics prey on vulnerable borrowers.

Wonga agreed to pay compensation of more than £2.6mil (RM14.3mil) to 45,000 customers in 2014. — Reuters

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