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Data from British Gas customers has been posted online, sparking worries over hacked bank accounts. Do you need to be concerned?
British Gas has been left feeling hot under the collar after the confidential details of 2,200 of its customers were apparently online on the evening of 28 November.
The media quickly picked up the story after British Gas contacted the customers whose names, addresses, email addresses, energy bills and account passwords were posted. However, British Gas was quick to claim that “the information which appeared online did not come from British Gas”.
In an email that appeared to initially have been published by the BBC (but was subsequently picked up by several other media sources) “I can assure you there has been no breach of our secure data storage systems, so none of your payment data, such as bank account or credit card details, have been at risk. As you’d expect, we encrypt and store this information securely.”
While British gas is adamant it hasn’t been the victim of hacking, the source of the leak is as yet unexplained (A phishing campaign targeting British Gas customer sis one of the possibilities). Many SME customers of this still substantial business gas supplier may be concerned.
Before rushing to terminate your gas contract, remember that the current leak only potentially allowed access to the British Gas accounts, not offering actual bank account details. And it seems that British Gas managed to contact all those affected and disable their accounts. Still, logins may have been used to view private data.
In fact, those left wondering may find it a great time to compare business energy suppliers. A glut of gas from fracking and exports means that business gas tariffs are low, while criticism of business electricity suppliers means that some suppliers have lowered rates.
Even those locked into long fixed-term business energy contracts may find it cheaper to pay a termination fee and switch supplier. Those (understandably) balking from this often complicated comparison may benefit from giving us a call on 0330 0100 251 (or request a call back using our form) for a free, no-obligation 20-minute quote.
The British Gas leak is just the latest incident: both TalkTalk and Marks and Spencer have both suffered similar exposures.
If big companies can suffer serious cyber incidents, smaller SMEs are even more at risk. Many small to medium sized business owners ignore the threat until it is too late.
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