Three suffers cyber attack in attempt to steal phones

Three suffers cyber attack in attempt to steal phones 0
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Three stores have also been targeted.

Photo by Three

Major mobile network provider Three admitted on Thursday that its upgrade database had been targeted by hackers, with the aim of stealing phones from the company.

The system was accessed using stolen employee login details and contains customer details, but no payment or card information. Three has not yet established how many customers have been affected by the hack, but has opened an investigation into the matter.

"We're aware of an attempted fraud issue regarding upgrade devices and are working with police and relevant authorities on the matter," said the network in a statement. "The objective was to steal high-end smartphones from Three but we've already put measures in place to stop the fraudulent activity. "

Three is far from the first British network to have suffered a security breach. Last year both TalkTalk and Vodafone suffered hacks of their own, but the major difference here is that it does not appear to have been data that hackers were after. Instead, Three said, the aim has been to pilfer phones and commit handset fraud.

The company has noticed an increased amount of theft in retail stores and an unusual number of attempts to intercept upgrade phones being sent to customers over the past four weeks, it said. With the help of police, Three has so far established that 400 high-end phones have been stolen through burglaries and eight devices have been illegally obtained through upgrade activity.

The investigation is ongoing, the company said.


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