It's interesting how many other companies have decided to come forward at this time. Admitting that they too have been "hacked". In some cases months or even years ago.
The furore over TalkTalk and its alleged data breach - being seen by others as an opportunity to seize upon -- "a good time to bury bad news
" -- to recall the thoughts of that government propagandist on hearing about 9/11.
While the meeja keeps its cross-hairs on TalkTalk - dosing us with more hysterical and hostile reports - driving the stock price to new lows - several other companies have quietly admitted - possibly in coordination - that their own customer records were half-inched by hackers.
In some cases, those data breaches occurring months or even years ago. Serious breaches which, astonishingly, the companies didn't even tell us about. Choosing only now to put us in the picture. Fancy that. One of those companies is payment processor Optimal Payments
. From the FT
Mobile payments company Optimal Payments revealed details of historic cyber attacks
Elliott Wiseman, Optimal’s general counsel and chief compliance officer, said the company was investigating.. how many customers had been affected.
Optimal has not contacted customers to inform them of the breaches. Mr Wiseman said “we are taking advice and considering exactly what needs to be done with respect to those potentially impacted.” He stressed that “it is too early to say what we will need to do.”
Mr Wiseman said the breaches were not previously announced because investigations at the time found insufficient evidence that the hackers accessed large amounts of data.
We live in worrying times when payment companies - processing millions of highly-sensitive financial transactions every single day - can't keep us safe from attackers. Nor do they even bother warning us when they are attacked. Tsk!
Notably, several of those data breaches at Optimal
date back to 2011, and targeted subsidiaries Skrill
. According to Wikipedia:
NETBANX processes online and telephone financial transactions for a range of industries, including government bodies, universities, insurance companies, small and large businesses. NETBANX's customers include: the UK government's business registration agency, Companies House and Environment Agency, Shop Direct Group and npower.
Data breaches at other companies - disclosed this week - also used the TalkTalk scandal as a convenient smokescreen. With the focus still on TalkTalk, lessening the heat they might otherwise face. Companies including telcos Vodafone, EE, O2, Sky and BT.
Could that be why BT CEO, Gavin Patterson, appeared Friday to be sympathetic towards TalkTalk? He knew that account details belonging to his 1.3 million BT Sport subscribers had been nicked too? From the FT
Mr Patterson played down speculation that a recent cyber attack on smaller rival TalkTalk would benefit BT by encouraging customers to move to new providers. “It’s not good for TalkTalk, but it’s not good for the industry as a whole,” he said of the hack.
What Patterson claims doesn't really hold water, either.
It's very likely that BT will
benefit from the damage to TalkTalk's reputation. From the mass churn of subscribers. Estimated by some at 15 per cent of customer-base. Many of them migrating into BT's fold.
BT also benefits from the shifting of institutional funds; major investors committed, come what may, to holding a percentage of their portfolio in the telecoms sector.
With TalkTalk stock still on a rollercoaster ride - thanks to the hedge funds - what safer harbour for those telecoms investors, if not in BT stock?
Me thinks Patterson is bluffing by claiming otherwise. Was he just being chivalrous towards TalkTalk in its hour of need? Or maybe BT stakeholders are among those shorting TalkTalk stock?
Edited by edwincluck (Mon 02-Nov-15 06:15:53)