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Who has your credit card data? 1 million HOLIDAY-MAKERS' RECORDS exposed

Travel agent fined £150K – Sloppy coding fingered

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A UK-based online travel firm has been fined £150,000 over a breach of breach of the Data Protection Act after their "insecure" coding reportedly exposed more than a million customer records to cybercrooks.

Think W3 Limited was hacked in December 2012 in an attack that relied on what the ICO described as "insecure" coding on the website of its subsidiary business, Essential Travel Ltd. The unidentified hacker behind the attack siphoned off a total of 1,163,996 credit and debit card records (431K current and 733K expired).

"Cardholder details had not been deleted since 2006 and there had been no security checks or reviews since the system had been installed," according to a subsequent investigation into the incident by data privacy watchdogs at the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Think W3 was found guilty of a "serious" breach of the DPA.

Stephen Eckersley, head of enforcement, said: “This was a staggering lapse that left more than a million holiday makers’ sensitive personal details exposed to a malicious hacker.

“Data security should be a top priority for any business that operates online. Think W3 Limited accepted liability for failing to keep their customers’ personal data secure; failing to test their security and failing to delete out-of-date information," he added.

The Information Commissioner's Office was keen to stress there is no link between the breach and incidents of actual fraud.

"No evidence or confirmation has been received that the personal data has been used for fraudulent transactions," the ICO tells The Register. ®

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