Southern Water customers' personal data stolen in illegal cyber attack

Southern Water has apologised to customers for the illegal cyber attack. Credit: ITV Meridian

Southern Water has issued an apology after confirming that some customers' personal data has been stolen in an illegal cyber attack on the company.

The firm, which has its headquarters in Worthing, West Sussex says the data stolen could include customers' names, dates of births, national insurance numbers, and bank details including sort codes and bank account numbers.

An investigation was launched on 22 January (2024) when the utilities firm became aware that a cyber criminal organisation was claiming on its website to have stolen data from some of our IT systems.

Southern Water is reassuring customers that operations and services have not been impacted and water supply is unaffected.

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In a letter to customers, a spokesperson said: "Southern Water takes its data protection and information security responsibilities to you seriously, and so we are bringing this to your attention as soon as we can.

"We are working closely with the regulatory authorities. We have notified the Information Commissioner’s Office and are in regular contact with the National Cyber Security Centre.

"In addition, we have taken further steps, with support from independent cybersecurity experts, to enhance the security monitoring of our IT infrastructure.

"We have also engaged a reputable third party to monitor the dark web on our behalf. They report that, since we were named on the cyber criminals’ site on 22 January 2024, they have found no new evidence of data potentially compromised by this cyber incident being published online.

"They will continue to carry out these checks for as long as necessary."

The water firm has offered customers affected a free year long enhanced Experian credit monitoring membership to help people detect 'possible misuse of personal information.'

Southern Water says the investigation will remain active and people who are concerned can contact them for more information.