Network provider Three has confirmed it was the victim of a data breach, which could have resulted in millions of customers’ data being accessed, as three men are arrested in connection with the hack.
The breach was an attempt to ‘steal high-end smartphones’, according to the company, which also said financial data was not at risk in a statement released today on its Facebook page:
“We’re aware of an attempted fraud issue regarding upgrade devices and are working with police and relevant authorities on the matter.
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“The objective was to steal high-end smartphones from Three, but we’ve already put measures in place to stop the fraudulent activity.
“We’d like to reassure customers that their financial details are not at risk. We are investigating how many customers are affected and will be contacting them as soon as possible. We’ll update with further information once we have this.”
As the BBC reports, details, including names and addresses, were accessed by using a login to Three’s database of customers eligible for a phone upgrade. The upgrade handsets were then “unlawfully intercepted” according to the company.
The National Crime Agency has arrested three men in connection with the data breach, one from Kent and two from Manchester, all of which have sinced been bailed.
Some reports have suggested as many as six million customers’ details could have been accessed, though the actual figure is likely to be lower.
A spokesman for Three told the BBC that the company has seen an increase in attempted handset fraud in recent weeks, saying: “To date, we have confirmed approximately 400 high value handsets have been stolen through burglaries and eight devices have been illegally obtained through the upgrade activity.”
It looks as though customer data was accessed using a login, as opposed to stolen, as a result of this latest breach – unlike the recent TalkTalk hack which saw 157,000 customers’ data stolen.
Three is updating customers on its Facebook page, so stay tuned for the latest.
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