Online marketplace MyDeal, majority owned by Woolworths Group since September, has become the latest to suffer a data hack as cyber crime continues to pose a significant threat to retailers of all descriptions.
As many as 2.2 million customers of MyDeal are thought to have had their information accessed and compromised as a result of a cyber attack Woolworths Group describes in a statement as having seen “a compromised user credential used to gain unauthorised access to its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system”.
Releasing a statement addressing the breach on Friday October 14, Woolworths Group and MyDeal flagged their engaging in the process of contacting impacted customers via email, with the scope of the impacts for the affected individuals ranging from the access of their email addresses to a fuller array of personal details including phone numbers, delivery addresses and dates of birth.
In a post to an online forum, however, an individual purporting to be behind the breach suggests the data had been compromised as many as four days before Woolworths Group released its statement. In the same post, the user ‘dior’ had initially suggested they sought to seek $400 in payment for segments of the data, with that desired amount having now increased to $600. Evidence suggesting the authenticity of this user’s claims have been observed in a Telegram channel attributed to the purported hacker, showing suggestions of successful access into the backend of MyDeal’s web operations.
A post made to an internet forum purporting to be from the hacker responsible for MyDeal’s data breach
The post calls into question the speed of MyDeal and Woolworths Group’s response to the breach, with implications suggesting that impacted customers were informed days after their information had been accessed.
“We apologise for the considerable concern that this will cause our affected customers. We have acted quickly to identify and mitigate unauthorised access and have increased the monitoring of networks,” MyDeal CEO Sean Senvirtne said via Friday’s statement, “We will continue to work with relevant authorities as we investigate the incident and we will keep our customers fully informed of any further updates impacting them.”
The breach is only the latest to impact a major business in Australia, amidst a cyber climate in which retailers are at an increased risk of their being targeted by cyber attacks.
“According to the CrowdStrike 2022 Falcon OverWatch Threat Hunting report when looking at eCrime activity, retail was one of the top 5 verticals by intrusion frequency globally between July 2021 and June 2022,” Nick Lowe, Director of cybersecurity software provider Crowdstrike’s threat hunting team Falcon OverWatch, told Power Retail earlier this month, “In the Asia Pacific and Japan region, the retail industry stood out as one of the top five industry verticals overall when looking at the cumulative total of both eCrime activity and targeted intrusions between July 2021 and June 2022.”
The full response to the breach suffered by MyDeal remains ongoing.
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