Man Arrested in Connection with Morrisons Data Breach

He is accused of making or supplying an article for use in fraud

An employee of UK supermarket chain Morrisons has been arrested in connection with the investigation into the data breach suffered by the company last week. The suspect has not been named and his motives are still uncertain. 

The announcement was made a few hours ago by the West Yorkshire Police. The suspect has been arrested on suspicion of making or supplying an article for use in fraud.

“An employee of Morrisons has been arrested in Leeds this morning (Monday, 17 March) in connection with an investigation into the theft of data from the company,” said Detective Chief Inspector Gary Hooks, of Protective Services (Crime). “He is currently in custody.”

Last week, we learned that the payroll data – including names, addresses and bank account details – of as many as 100,000 employees were posted on a website. Someone also sent a copy of the data to the Bradford Telegraph & Argus newspaper. Customer information has not been compromised.

The supermarket chain rushed to have the data removed, but cybercriminals had enough time to copy it. Shortly after the incident came to light, Morrisons announced that there wasn’t any evidence to suggest that it was an external attack.

It appears they were right. It remains to be seen what drove the man to do such a thing. Judging by the comments posted on Facebook after the incident was announced, Morrisons has a number of unhappy employees. The man believed to be behind the data theft could be one of them.

The data breach came to light shortly after the supermarket chain announced suffering massive losses last year.

Morrisons is working with banks and Experian to assist affected employees and make sure their personal and financial details are not misused. The company has also set up a call line where employees can obtain clarifications about the incident.

Numerous retailers have suffered data breaches over the past period, particularly in the US. The recent incidents have shown that companies must protect themselves not only against insider threats, such as in the case of Morrisons, but they also have to make sure the third-party vendors they do business with secure their systems properly.

The latter scenario refers to the breach suffered by Target, in which 40 million payment cards became compromised. The cybercriminals first gained access to the systems of a vendor from which they gradually moved in to take over the retailer’s networks.

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