Teletext Holidays, a British travel company operating in the country, revealed it suffered from a data breach. The incident affected 212,000 customers.
Britain-based travel agency Teletext specializes in organizing travel and holiday packages for its customers. To communicate with its users, the company reported completes its transactions over the phone.
According to the article released by Verdict, researchers from the company saw customer call audio files. These files were located on an unprotected Amazon Web Services database, which remained unsecured for three years. This resulted in customer information exposure, including user’s complete names, home addresses, contact numbers, dates of birth, and email addresses.
Apart from the 212,000 audio files from Teletext Holidays customers, there were also approximately 300,000 more files from other agencies. In total, researchers recovered around 532,000. Verdict states that calls were made out to the travel firm’s India-based customer service hotline.
Audio files dating back between April 10, 2016, and August 10, 2016, were recovered by the team. Some of the calls included those that lasted for a few minutes and those that reached an hour. The news site suggests that customers hailing from the United Kingdom may have been affected by the breach.
During these calls, customers can be heard arranging holidays with the help of Teletext representatives. Besides this, customers also asked about trip routes, providing feedback, changing a booking, and relaying concerns.
Partial credit card information can be heard during customer-agent transactions. This includes the cardholder’s name, the expiration date of the card, and the type of card.
Following the breach, BBC reports that the travel agency immediately removed all 532,000 files compromised in the breach. A spokesperson for the firm said they have also ‘contacted the Information Commissioner’s Office” after the incident.
The company maintains that while customers relay their information over the phone, agents mute this section to protect customer identities. Likewise, customers intent on giving their information verbally are reportedly stopped by the agent, notes BBC.
Repercussions of the event may prove fatal not only to loyal Teletext patrons but also to the customers themselves. Some of the potential issues that may arise include lack of security protection as well as identity theft and fraud.
Truly Travel, the company behind Teletext Holidays assured the public that previous consumers did not reach out to them. However, those who are concerned with their security and protection may call the company, says The Sun. The company hotline is 0207-742-1200.