Estate agent Foxtons Group is under pressure after a daily newspaper claimed that thousands of customers’ card and personal details have been uploaded to a dark web site.
A customer found over 16,000 card details, addresses and private messages on October 12 last year, according to publication i.
The report claimed that the data relates to customers from before 2010, although testing of a small sample apparently revealed that around a fifth of the cards are still active.
Only a small percentage of personal data is said to have been published on the dark web, but it’s unclear exactly how many customers have been affected. Cyber-criminals often showcase their haul to would-be buyers by publishing a small sample online, before selling privately.
According to the report, the publicly available files have been viewed over 15,000 times in the three months or so they have been online.
The customer who discovered them told the newspaper that they notified Foxtons three weeks ago of the privacy snafu, but that the firm had not taken action to notify customers or the authorities.
A statement from the nationwide estate agent said that its Alexander Hall mortgage broking business was hit by malware in October 2020 in an attack affecting a number of other organizations.
“Some IT systems were affected for several days but were restored without significant disruption to customers. All necessary disclosures have been made and full details of the attack were provided to the FCA and ICO at the time,” it added.
“We are satisfied that the attack did not result in the loss of any data that could be damaging to customers and believe that the FCA and ICO are satisfied with our response.”
Stephen Kapp, CTO of Cortex Insight, commented: “It is safe to assume the worst and Foxton customers should look to protect themselves from identity fraud and card fraud as a result of this breach. With both personal information and payment card information lost, Foxtons customers should take some time to validate payments and potential credit history interactions since October and flag anything suspicious to their bank.”