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Loyaltybuild boss writes open letter apologising to customers as more firms hit by breach

The data breach has affected up to 1.5 million customers across Europe. The gardaí and the Data Protection Commissioner are investigating.

Image: Daragh Brophy/TheJournal.ie

THE GENERAL MANAGER of Loyaltybuild, the Ennis-based company at the centre of a large scale investigation into a data-breach affecting up to 1.5 million people has said the company deeply regrets “any distress” caused by the criminal attack.

It comes as news emerges of more Irish companies whose customer details were taken in the breach. Centra, Pigsback.com and Clerys are among the latest firms to be embroiled in the controversy.

Peter Steenstrup writes that his company is “committed to providing as much information as we are permitted and as quickly as possible, however, this incident is the subject of a serious investigation by the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation and we are not permitted to discuss specific details of the breach.”

He says the company has ceased taking bookings via its website and by phone

“We have done this to enable our external data experts to complete their investigation into the attack and to put into place the necessary protections and certifications to give our customers the highest degree of confidence when booking with us in the future.

“Our investigation has shown that the breach was quite sophisticated, so it is vital that we work carefully not only to identify potential risks to consumers but also to preserve the evidence that will help the law enforcement authorities identify the perpetrators.

Steenstrup says that evidence gathered so far “suggests that separate batches of information have been compromised”.

“As these have been discovered, we have been informing the Office of Data Protection Commissioner in Ireland and the other necessary authorities as well as our clients for whom we operate the Loyalty and Incentive schemes.

“All our clients are being provided with full details of the impacted customers and how they were affected. Affected customers have been or will be hearing from our clients in this respect.”

Around 68 customers of Centra who took part in a vouchers promotion at the convenience store chain may have had their details taken, though the company say that only names, addresses and phone numbers were taken, not credit card details.

Pigsback.com said it had run a promotion with Loyaltybuild in 2005, and that some personal details of customers may have been compromised, but again no financial data.

It’s understood customers of Clerys, Postbank, Stena Line and Unislim in Northern Ireland may also have been affected.

Both the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner and gardaí are investigating the breach. Full card details of over 376,ooo people were taken by hackers, including those of some 70,000 Supervalu Getaway customers and more than 8,000 AXA Leisure Break customers.

Just under 7,000 customers at Electric Ireland have also been affected.

Read: Criminals “have all details needed to use credit cards”

Read: Supervalu payment card breach ‘more extensive’ than expected

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