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Fortnum and Mason hacked, 23,000 customers affected

Fortnum And Mason is an upmarket department store in London with many branches in different states. A cyber attack has led to a huge customer information leak from the website putting data of 23,000 customers at risk.

Department stores getting hacked is not something new, but this is one of the biggest hacks of this year that includes a known department store which is known for its hampers and links to royalty.

The 311-year-old retailer said for the majority of people, only their email address has been exposed, however, home addresses, phone numbers and social media handles of few of the customers have also been accessed. The good thing is that it did not include any financial information.

Data had been gathered through marketing initiatives, survey, competitions and voting activity such as the Fortnum and Mason food and drink awards’ TV personality of the year. The poll had been organised by specialist survey and voting company Typeform. Smaller numbers had their details hacked after they entered a Fortnum-run competition for tickets for an exhibition of Charles I’s art collection or filled in a survey on the Piccadilly store’s concierge service.

Fortnum & Mason chief executive Ewan Venters told the Standard: “As soon as we were alerted over the weekend we spent time with Typeform looking at what exactly could be at risk. Thankfully it’s mostly limited to email addresses. There’s no impact on the core systems at Fortnum or highly sensitive information like bank details.

Typeform is a company that conducts surveys via forms. A third party hacked into their database and downloaded information, however, the company says to have fixed the breach.

“I want to stress that there’s no concern about any banking information or credit card data. We have very vigorous pressure testing on core Fortnum & Mason data services.” The hackers are thought to have accessed Typeform’s backup file. As soon as the breach was detected the link between Fortnum and Typeform was shut down. Mr Venters insisted there was “no suggestion Typeform is not a good, reputable company”.