Wonga has been battered by what could be the biggest ever loss of customers’ financial information following reports that nearly 270,000 account holders – 245,000 in the UK alone – may have had their personal data compromised.
The company said it was “urgently investigating illegal and unauthorised access” to the personal data of some of its customers in the UK and Poland. The company would not disclose where the breach had occurred.
Wonga said it had become aware of the breach last week but at that time thought no data was involved. However, by Friday it realised the attacks were more serious.
Over the weekend, customers received a message from the company telling them: “We believe there may have been illegal and unauthorised access to some of your personal data on your Wonga.com account.”
The message said that Wonga was working to establish the full details but data breached “may have included one or more of the following: name, email address, home address, phone number, the last four digits of your card number (but not the whole number) and/or your bank account number and sort code”.
In a statement, the firm said: “We are working closely with authorities and we are in the process of informing affected customers. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused.”
Wonga said it did not believe the attackers had gained access to users’ loan accounts, but warned them to be vigilant.
Professor Alan Woodward, a cybersecurity expert at the University of Surrey, told the BBC that it was “looking like one of the biggest” data breaches in the UK involving financial information, adding that the combination of names, addresses, sort codes and last four digits of bank cards was “particularly worrying”.
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