Harley Medical Group, a leading private medical firm, has warned customers that a hacker accessed its systems and stole reams of personal data in an attempt to extort money from the company.
In total 480,000 customers were affected, with names, addresses, dates of birth and email addresses stolen. Financial and personal medical details were not affected, though.
Chairman of the Harley Medical Group Peter Boddy wrote a letter to those affected by the incident, shown in the embedded Twitter message below.
"We recently became aware that an unknown individual had deliberately bypassed our website security, gaining access to contact information from initial website inquiries in an attempt to extort money from the company," Boddy wrote.
"We informed the police and will continue to provide whatever assistance they may require to track down the perpetrator of this illegal act. Our website was taken down while a fix was put in place. Further upgrades will be implemented in the near future."
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) confirmed to V3 that it had been informed of the incident and was investigating. “We will be making enquiries into the circumstances of the alleged breach of the Data Protection Act before deciding what action, if any, needs to be taken," it said.
The incident underlines the threats to firms that store customer data, with the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) receiving a £200,000 fine from the ICO in March.
For some tips on how to keep your devices and data secure see our video below:
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