Dixons Carphone reveals it has uncovered unauthorised access of customer’s data

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                    Retailer Dixons Carphone said it has uncovered unauthorised access of data held by the company involving 5.9 million payment cards

After British retailer Dixons Carphone admitted a major data breach involving 5.9 million payment cards and 1.2m personal data records many customers will be anxious they could be affected - here's how to find out.

"The protection of our data has to be at the heart of our business, and we've fallen short here", he said.

The latest incident also potentially exposed the personal details of 1.2 million people (name, address, email address), leaving customers more exposed to potential phishing attacks as a result.

The group said it had informed the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the police about the incident.

The breach was uncovered by Dixons Carphone this week, but apparently took place back in July 2017, when hackers tried to access a processing system used by its Currys PC World and Dixons Travel stores. We have taken action to close off this access and have no evidence it is continuing.

The hacking represents a further blow to the company following a series of profit warnings since last summer amid tough trading for its mobile phone arm.

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"We are extremely disappointed and sorry for any upset this may cause", he said. About 105,000 cards issued outside the European Union, without chip-and-PIN protection, were compromised, Dixons said.

Dixons Carphone said that "unauthorised access" of data held by the company had prompted an investigation, the hiring of external security experts and efforts to shore up its security defences.

Given the small number of affected cards and the fact that personal data did not leave the network, it's unlikely the firm will be in for a major GDPR fine, unless it emerges that the hackers took advantage of serious deficiencies in the firm's cyber-defenses.

Dixons Carphone's shares were down 5 percent at 0718 GMT.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said the cyber attack could undermine consumer confidence in the retailer.

Because the data breach dates back to a year ago it will be dealt with by the ICO under the powers of the Data Protection Act 1998 and not the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which went into effect on May 25.

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