The University of Greenwich Data Leaks – why people SHOULD be concerned about fraud and identity theft
Whilst we’re not here to bring doomsday style headlines, we are here to help and advise victims of data leaks; and now that we’re acting for individuals who have been a victim of the University of Greenwich data leak, we want to ensure that our advice to our clients extends to those considering asking us for help as well.
Data leak law is what we do – so for those who have been affected, our legal team have a stern warning about making sure you take steps to protect yourself in the wake of the University of Greenwich data leak.
We’ve been contacted by a number of people affected by the University of Greenwich data leak which saw hundreds (although potentially more) students have their personal information posted on the university website.
Information may have been accessible for several years, and it included personal, financial, and medical information about a number of students. Although the distress alone of your personal information being available online is bad enough, there is a real risk of identity fraud issues because financial and contact information, and even signatures of students, were posted.
The trend of hackers successfully targeting big firms and leaking millions of innocent victim’s data is on the rise. We’ve covered lots of breaches and hacks in recent news, and were acting for large numbers of people who have fallen victim to some of the most serious data breaches we have ever experienced here in the UK.
In October 2015 we saw British Gas hit by a significant data breach on the same week that TalkTalk and Marks & Spencer’s were hit, leaving the energy giants having to contact thousands of customers who had been affected.
Just this week we were posting about the rise of ransomware, and today the news agencies are reporting of a malicious attack that has infected users with ransomware when hackers were able to take control of banner adverts that linked to malicious software.
The hackers managed to gain control of a domain that the former owners didn’t renew, meaning that legitimate ad agencies were inadvertently displaying adverts that linked to a separate page that then tried to put ransomware on to their computers.
Ransomware is on the rise, and security experts are warning businesses and individuals to take extra care in the wake of a surge in reported cases.
Essentially ransomware has the capacity to lock a user out of their own system and demand a financial ransom by encrypting data on an infected device. The decryption key is then only made available once a ransom has been paid.
It’s a clever way in which scammers are making money – and we’re not just talking a few pounds here and there. Worldwide, the total amount of money being paid in ransomware is in the millions.
Recent ICO action shows just how easy it is for huge firms to buy and sell YOUR personal information
Cold calls and telemarketing calls – words that are marred with a sigh of angst at the mere thought of them.
Most of us are plagued by marketing calls on a daily basis, and how they get hold of our personal information to call us can be a combination of pot luck with random numbers and buying your information from other organisations.
Just last month the ICO reported of legal action taken against several organisations for breaching the Data Protection Act through the use of telemarketing calls.
Some of the lengths these firms go to can be shocking!
We are representing a group of victims who are claiming compensation as a victim of the 56 Dean Street Clinic leak where an email was sent to almost 800 people for HIV services without the emails / names of recipients obscured.
Whilst the media often used the term “human error” we do not see it this way at all. As a data controller, the clinic / Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust should never have allowed a situation to arise where this could happen. Systems should have been in place to ensure that any emails distributed to a group would be appropriately anonymised.
This isn’t the first leak of its kind and our action is aimed to ensure fair compensation for those affected, and to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.
Six months on from the initiation of our action, we would like to update anyone considering joining the action with a little bit of an insight in to where we are with things.
Thankfully Team Snapchat have advised that this was an isolated incident that was swiftly resolved – and perhaps there will be a huge sigh of relief shared across the globe when we tell you that it was not information about Snapchat users that was breached…
According to social media heavyweights Snapchat, an employee fell for a phishing scam that ended up in payroll information for employees being leaked last month. The email purported to come from the company’s Chief Executive Officer, and it requested payroll information for a number of employees.
With the financial Christmas hangover, and self assessment tax being due at the end of the month, January can be a harder time for us all. On the cusp of this key weekend, HSBC has announced that it has successfully defended a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) cyber attack today.
Although customer’s personal information appears safe for now, the attack has disrupted services which will no doubt be a cause for concern for those eager for payday or paying their self assessment tax before the deadline this weekend.