Orange: Hackers nab data from 800,000 clients

Telecom giant Orange revealed on Monday that the names, addresses and phone numbers of hundreds of thousands of French customers have been pilfered in a mammoth data breach. Find out how the hackers could cause headaches for those affected.

Orange: Hackers nab data from 800,000 clients
Orange telecom says hackers stole data on 800,000 customers. Photo: Eric Piermont/AFP

If you are an Orange telecom customer in France you would be wise to keep an extra close eye out for scams in the next couple of weeks. The company reported on Monday that 800,000 customers' names and other personal data have been stolen by hackers.

While the number of people affected accounts for only three percent of the telecom giant’s overall customers, the breach could surely lead to problems for those involved, France TV reported. There was at least some good news as hackers, apparently did not manage to get their hands on any customer passwords.

"Orange was the target of a hacking attack on January 16, 2014 on the 'my account' page in the client service section of the web site," according to an email sent to certain customers. "It could include family names, first names, postal addresses, email addresses, telephone number, or other personal information such as household data that includes number of Orange subscribers, or information on your preferred means of contact."

The company believes the intent of the attack was to gather information that could be used in a process called “phishing”, which is when hackers try to convince you to turn over personal information. These attacks frequently take the form of an apparent email from a company you work with and asks for passwords, bank account numbers and other sensitive data.

Orange reported that it had found the source of the attack and has filed an official complaint with authorities.

Somewhat ironically the embarrassing breach comes mere months after Orange CEO Stéphane Richard made a presentation during which he said protecting client data was “fundamental” for the company.

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