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Data breach victims receiving threats from hackers
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Data breach victims receiving threats from hackers

In some cases, cybercriminals can steal from you directly, using stolen bank details or by hacking your online accounts to make unauthorised payments or transfers. However, there are other cases in which criminals can manipulate their victims by using misleading and fraudulent communication to trick people into handing over private information, or overtly blackmailing them into doing so. When victims receive threats from hackers, they can feel incredibly vulnerable, and it may feel difficult to know what to do.

The current state of cybercrime is such that there are very few of us who will have never been targeted with fraudulent messages or calls. Data breach victims can become even more vulnerable to such communication, some of which can be incredibly threatening in nature. As details exposed in data breaches can fall into the hands of criminals, data controllers can be held responsible for any harm caused to victims.

The link between data breaches and cybercrime is clear, which is why companies in possession of personal information must do their utmost to protect it. Where they fail to do so, they can be held liable through data breach compensation claims made by the victims.

Threats from hackers – how are victims targeted?

When hackers are in possession of victims’ personal information, it can be easier for them to manipulate their targets, as having private information can provide powerful blackmail fuel. For example, criminals can threaten to publish data online if they believe that would cause distress to the victim, asking them to pay a ransom in return for the promise that they will delete the information. These demands resemble those made in ransomware cyberattacks, in which hackers can take control of entire company systems and promise to reinstate control in exchange for a payment. Such manipulation is particularly effective for victims who have had extremely sensitive information exposed, such as medical records.

Other forms of threats from hackers may be more of the misleading nature. Criminals often fabricate their identities in fraudulent communication, pretending to be reputable organisations as a means of convincing their victims. A recent example is the scammers who have posed as HMRC as a means of convincing victims that they need to settle fines or tax payments, when in fact they owe nothing.

The liability of data controllers

While data controllers cannot be entirely blamed for the actions of criminals, they can be held responsible where victims have received threats from hackers if they were responsible for exposing personal information.

For example, if a security issue allowed hackers to steal from a company database, victims of this attack could then be targeted with fraud. Those affected could be eligible to recover compensation for any distress caused, and for any financial losses they may also incur.

Start your compensation claim now

As expert lawyers, we can help data breach victims who have received threats from hackers to claim the compensation they deserve.

We have launched group actions for some of the most significant data breaches seen in the UK in recent years. This includes victims of the British Airways data breach, Equifax cyberattack and TalkTalk data breach, where compensation claims in our lawsuits can provide a route to justice.

To find out more about pursuing a potential No Win, No Fee claim, please do not hesitate to contact our team today for free, no-obligation advice.

The content of this post/page was considered accurate at the time of the original posting and/or at the time of any posted revision. The content of this page may, therefore, be out of date. The information contained within this page does not constitute legal advice. Any reliance you place on the information contained within this page is done so at your own risk.

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