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Technology / Cybersecurity

Oxford and Cambridge Club hit by data breach as thieves break in

The exclusive Oxford and Cambridge Club on Pall Mall in London has been hit by a critical data breach that could endanger the club’s 5,000 members.

Standing as a stark reminder of the importance of physical security in the cyber war, this data breach was caused when thieves stole a backup computer drive from the club’s Pall Mall headquarters.

In the wake of the incident, the Oxford and Cambridge Club warned its members to take added security precautions. The stolen data included addresses, both home and email, phone numbers, photographs, dates of birth and names.

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As reported by the Telegraph, some bank account details were also among the stolen data, potentially posing a more serious risk to some members.

Detailing the circumstances of the breach, the club has said that the drive was stolen from a locked room, but some might argue that even these measures are insufficient with data becoming increasingly valuable on all fronts.

Among the most exclusive clubs in London, Oxford and Cambridge Club members are the alumni of the two most prestigious universities in the United Kingdom. Aspiring members require a proposal from an existing member and to be seconded by another, before the application is put to a committee.

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Some high profile members of the club include the comedian Stephen Fry, the Astronomer Royal, Lord Rees, and both the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh. It has been confirmed that neither of the royal, honourary members were affected by the breach.

Cybersecurity awareness should now be at an all-time high following the year of unprecedented incidents we are reaching the end of, many of them carried out in the form of phishing and ransomware attacks.

With GDPR in the horizon, physical data security must not be forgotten, with the incoming regulation set to deliver massive fines to those that are found to be failing to achieve compliance.
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