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Barclays data thieves stole information from 27,000 customer accounts

10 Feb 2014

Details of 27,000 Barclays customers have been stolen and sold to rogue traders, in a major data breach at the bank.

A report in the Mail on Sunday claimed that a whistleblower reported to the paper that customer details – including earnings, savings, mortgages, and passport and national insurance numbers – were all taken.

It was not made clear how they were taken, but the whistleblower claimed that the information was sold on to criminals engaging in investment scams.

Barclays acknowledged the report in a statement on its website and said that it believed the information dated back to a service that had now shut down.

“Our initial investigations suggest this is isolated to customers linked to our Barclays Financial Planning business, which we ceased operating as a service in 2011. Based on what we have seen, this appears to be data from 2008 or earlier,” it said.

“We will take all necessary steps to contact and advise those customers as soon as possible so that they can also ensure the safety of their personal data. Protecting our customers' data is a top priority and we take this issue extremely seriously.”

Barclays added that it would be treating the incident as a criminal investigation and had already reported the incident to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The data watchdog has the potential to fine Barclays up to £500,000 if it finds any evidence of poor data security at the bank.

V3 contacted the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for comment on the case but had received no reply at the time of publication.

Customer data theft issues are a major concern for organisations, with US retailer Target hit by a major hack earlier this year and Lakeland targeted by criminals last year.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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