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Net user leap on leaked ISP freefone number

Only costs company 254 quid -- just a cheap publicity stunt, then?

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An undisclosed number of Net users managed to gain unauthorised freephone access to the Net last night following the leak of confidential information yesterday. Although not the most auspicious start to a new venture, Tom Defty, MD of new kid on the block ISP City Connections, said that last night's assault only cost the company just £254. The 0800 number -- published on a variety of newsgroups yesterday -- has now been shut down, he said, and he denied that the whole episode was a stunt to seek publicity for the service. In a statement Defty said: "I am deeply disappointed by this breach of security... but I can assure you that the service will still be launching on 1 December." At this stage there's still some confusion surrounding the identity of the person who originally leaked the 0800 freephone number. Defty said that BT Security told him it originated from someone with a "BT Corporate account". But a spokesman for BT disputed this. He said he was unaware that the matter had even been reported and after investigating the matter said that the person who leaked the material was from outside the company. That aside, Defty has released information on the new ISP and what it will offer. It seems London-based Easynet will provide the backbone to the service and instead of using 0845 or 0800 numbers to access City Connections, the ISP will employ 150 '01' numbers across the country instead. Using phone companies such as NTL, Telewest, C&W, Transnet and Euphony, Defty claims this will allow users to be eligible for 'free-call access' during off-peak periods. "The service will cost £11.75 per month," said Defty. "But if you have a banner (optional) at the bottom of your screen you will receive £10 back per month," he said. The ISP has also embarked on a multi-million TV and radio advertising campaign to advertise the service, Defty said. ®

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