Business Irish

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Canadian police say they won't identify Paddy Power hacker

Published 04/08/2014 | 02:30

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Paddy Power's chief executive Patrick Kennedy

Ontario police have declined to reveal the identity of the person who stole data from gambling website Paddy Power.

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A spokeswoman for the Ontario Provincial Police told the Irish Independent that two officers had helped in the search undertaken by Paddy Power in Canada.

However, she said that the case was a civil matter and not a criminal one. For this reason, the spokeswoman said she could not reveal that identity of the person who was the subject of the investigation.

She also could not say why no criminal charges were being pursued, adding that only Paddy Power could comment.

The bookmaker said last week that it was told in May that a man in Canada had a large database of information allegedly stolen in an attack. After an investigation with the help of the Canadian authorities, the bookie was granted two court orders to seize and analyse the man's computers, after which it was found that he had personal information relating to 649,055 customers. Police also examined his bank accounts and questioned him.

The data included the name, username, postal address, email address, phone number, date of birth and security questions and answers of customers. The company denies that credit or debit card details were compromised.

Paddy Power said it has not detected any suspicious activity that would indicate that accounts were illegally accessed.

The Government criticised the delay in telling customers.

"I am very disappointed that it has taken until now for Paddy Power to inform its customers," said Dara Murphy who is junior minister for data protection.

Paddy Power only appears to have become aware that the hacker had the data when it was approached by a third party who said that a hacker in Canada was in possession of the personal details of Paddy Power customers.

The stolen security questions and answers could make it easier for hackers to break into other online accounts where the same information is used.

Irish Independent

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