Feeds

Newcastle council credit card file lifted

Up to 54,000 people affected in bureaucratic bungle

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Newcastle City Council has compromised private details of up to 54,000 people who made payments to it by credit or debit card between February 2006 and April 2007.

The council said details were "inappropriately released" of transactions for "council tax, business rates, parking fines, and rent payments... other services, such as at leisure centres, tourist information centres, museums, theatres and galleries have not been compromised".

The council says a single file was compromised, containing names, addresses and credit card numbers (although the card numbers were encrypted). No details of either PIN numbers or security code numbers were in the file. Apparently, the file in question was placed on an insecure server and subsequently uploaded to "a computer address registered outside the country".

This was discovered during a council-ordered security checkup by an "independent industry expert".

Newcastle council became aware of the breach last Thursday and has informed the banks, the police, and the Information Commissioner. An investigation is ongoing.

Council chief executive Ian Stratford said:

"We are now fully confident that our systems are properly robust, so we are continuing to receive payments by credit and debit cards. We very much regret that this situation has developed, although would again stress that there has been no indication of any fraud or loss, and that we spotted this situation through the thoroughness of our own security and checking systems."

The Reg has seen a copy of an internal council email highlighting the matter. It says:

"[Council] Staff should be reassured that it only refers to credit and debit card transactions with the council and has no implications for their details on payroll..."

It's always good to see a sense of priorities being maintained. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.