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Identity theft warning as Stafford building society hit by hackers

Hackers have targeted a Staffordshire building society and accessed members' personal information.


The Stafford Railway Building Society was the victim of a cyber attack, bosses confirmed yesterday.

Chiefs said the attack had affected the society's email system, and saw some emails 'unlawfully accessed' by the unknown group of hackers.

Members have been warned that the hack could lead to information being used for identity theft or to 'impersonate people to obtain unauthorised credit or services'.

However, the attack – which took place in February and March – did not affect the society's system which deals with savings and mortgages, chief executive Susan Whiting said.

The society, which has 17,500 members, is continuing to work to prevent the unauthorised access and put new security measures in place.

Ms Whiting said: "The Stafford Railway Building Society has recently been the subject of potential cyber activity.

"The society has launched a thorough investigation, but can confirm that this affected our email system, rather than our system which deals with members' savings and mortgages. No savings accounts have been accessed.

"The targeted attack has meant that some emails sent to our system, some of which included some personal information of our members, were unlawfully accessed by an unknown and unauthorised third party.

"Access was disabled as soon as it was detected. We have written to all affected members.

"Although we are not aware that any attempt has been made to misuse your information, we have made arrangements with credit experts Experian to offer you advice and support.

"The unauthorised access was detected and disabled by the Society's staff and IT support, and has been reported to all relevant authorities including the police and the Information Commissioner's Office."

Members have also been offered a complimentary 12-month membership to Experian ProtectMyID by the society.

Read the building society's Q&A about the attack here, or for more information call 01785 413261.

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