Over 26,500 National Lottery players have been warned that their personal data being held by operator Camelot has been compromised, in yet another hack attack on a high-profile brand.
Although the number is only a small fraction of the 9.5 million records Camelot holds, it is understood that 50,000 accounts have seen suspicious activity.
The company’s advertising strategy, created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, could come back to haunt the firm. While it has featured Noel Edmonds, Piers Morgan, Katie Price and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, and others, under the strapline “please not them”, lottery users will no doubt be hoping “please not us”.
Camelot, which has shut down all the accounts affected, insists that no financial data has been lost, although the data does include email addresses and passwords, which makes the customers just as vulnerable to fraud. Initial reports suggest Camelot believes hackers have used details stolen from other sites to access its network.
Full details of the breach remain sketchy; there is still no statement on the Camelot website. However, the BBC has reported that Camelot is contacting those Lottery players who have been affected.
The move follows a separate technical issue for the company for which it was forced to apologise after some users of the National Lottery app were incorrectly told that they had not won.
Camelot was forced to pull its iOS and Android apps in late October after customers reported that both manual-entry and QR ticket scanner result-checking functions were incorrectly informing players that their tickets were losers.
Many complained that they could have since thrown away their tickets and were therefore unable to collect their winnings. Camelot came under widespread public criticism for ignoring numerous user complaints for over a week before finally admitting that the fault lay with its own technology.
In a statement it said: “Our investigation has shown that this would have only affected a very small minority of users who checked results using the app between 13-26 October under a very specific set of circumstances. Results-checking on all other channels – including national-lottery.co.uk – was unaffected.
“If users have any concerns regarding tickets they may have checked on the app between 13-26 October, we’d encourage them to get in touch with us as soon as possible.”
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