Market gives Dixons benefit of the doubt following massive cyber-attack

Dixons Carphone had flagged the potential for a cyber-attack in its annual report

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The Independent Online

Shares in Dixons Carphone failed to react yesterday despite the company behind Carphone Warehouse admitting it had been the target of a massive cyber-attack last week.

Investors decided to give the company the benefit of the doubt over the intrusion, which compromised 2.4 million customers’ details, including 90,000 credit cards, as the shares closed up 1.7p at 457.7. However, Wednesday’s hack, which was not revealed until Saturday, could now face an investigation by the UK’s data protection watchdog, with the Information Commissioner’s Office making enquiries into the data breach which also affected TalkTalk and iD users.

The Financial Conduct Authority is also expected to take a look at the issue to see whether Dixons Carphone informed the market in a timely manner over price-sensitive information – although with the share price barely moving, a formal investigation is unlikely.

Dixons Carphone had flagged the potential for cyber-attacks in its annual report, pointing out that a key risk for the business would be a “major loss/breach of customer, colleague, or business sensitive data. Vulnerability to attack, malware, and associated cyber risks owing to under-investment in people, systems and safeguarding processes.”

Sources close to the company suggested that the reason for the muted reaction was that most investors were realistic and accepted the view that such data breaches were now a matter of course for businesses.

Carphone Warehouse said names, addresses, date of birth information and bank details of 2.4 million customers “may have been accessed” in the attack including customers who use OneStopPhoneShop.co.uk, e2save.com and Mobiles.co.uk.

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