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M&S and Diageo pension schemes exposed in Capita hack • Graham Cluley

A recent hack on Capita, a company that administers pensions for private-sector retirement schemes, has exposed the personal data of over 100,000 Marks and Spencer and Diageo pension holders. Hackers broke into Capita’s systems in March and stole data from the affected server estate, which may have included customer, supplier, or colleague data. In response, the UK’s pension watchdog urged hundreds of pension funds to investigate if their client data might have been compromised by the attack. The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), the UK’s biggest private sector pension plan, also warned that around 470,000 of its members may have had their details accessed during the Capita hack.

Capita, which is widely used by the UK government, NHS, and many British organizations, has faced a barrage of complaints from its clients, including Colchester City Council, which expressed “extreme disappointment” with the company. Other councils reportedly affected by the Capita hack include Adur and Worthing, Coventry City Council, Derby City Council, Rochford District Council, and South Staffordshire. Capita has declined to say whether it is willing to pay a ransom to the hackers to prevent the data from being released more widely.

The Capita hack highlights the vulnerability of personal data in the digital age, as well as the importance of robust cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive information. Companies and organizations should be vigilant in monitoring their systems and ensuring that they have adequate security measures in place to prevent unauthorized access. Additionally, individuals should be cautious about sharing personal data and use strong passwords and two-factor authentication to protect their online accounts.

In conclusion, the Capita hack is a reminder of the need for increased cybersecurity awareness and investment in the digital age. Companies, organizations, and individuals must take proactive steps to protect their data and prevent cyberattacks. The consequences of a data breach can be severe, leading not only to financial losses but also to reputational damage and loss of trust. It is essential to stay vigilant and take cybersecurity seriously to mitigate the risks of cybercrime.

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