Virgin Media leaves database open, thousands of records exposed

The UK
telecom and ISP Virgin Media is informing some customers of a data breach that
took place when unauthorized persons accessed an incorrectly configured database.

Virgin
Media, which supplies telephone, TV and internet services in the UK, said names,
home and email addresses, phone numbers and in some cases birth dates, were
stored in the database. Virgin did not report how many customers were affected,
but some published
reports place the figure at 900,000.

The database
was used to store information relating to marketing activities.

The company
maintains no financial information or passwords were stored in the database and
the affected people are being contacted by mail.

Virgin Media
is refusing to classify this as a cyberattack saying in a statement
the incident was not due to a hack, but as a result of the database being
incorrectly configured.

“We know
what happened, why it happened and as soon as we became aware we immediately
shut down access to the database and launched a full independent forensic
investigation. We have also informed the Information Commissioner’s Office,”
the company said.

Misconfigured
databases,
those configured with no or very weak login credentials, have plagued hundreds
of companies in the last few years.


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