Web worker stole 100,000 users' details

A Cable & Wireless employee was yesterday identified to Contractor UK as having stolen the personal details of 100,000 broadband customers who used the popular Bulldog service.

Having teamed up with Bulldog's owner, Pipex, C&W said it is pursuing the worker with an injunction to stop "any further use" of the data, which includes users' credit card details.

But in a statement, C&W said there is currently "no evidence" that the worker, who has now been sacked by the company, has used any of the credit card numbers for identity fraud.

The employee has been identified as Seemab Zafar, The Mail on Sunday reported. Her ex-employer is chasing her through the High Court for more than £300,000 in damages, after she stole a laptop loaded with the customer data.

A spokesperson for Cable & Wireless, which filed the injunction, said yesterday: "We now believe that customer details were stolen from us by an employee who went on a business trip to Pakistan on our behalf in 2005.

"The employee did not return as planned from the business trip and their employment by Cable & Wireless Access was terminated as a result."

Since the theft, a very small number of Bulldog customers have reportedly complained to C&W that they are now victims to unsolicited callers. The telco believes these calls were placed using details from the stolen laptop.

But speaking yesterday, the company said it also believes that its legal offensive, which is currently underway, may have led to "all copies" of the customer data being destroyed.

Cable & Wireless said: "Make no mistake; we will take every possible course of action available to us to bring this matter to a suitable conclusion and to ensure the protection of Bulldog customers."

The telco's revenue in the first half of 2006/07 was primarily generated through residential sales relating to the customer base of Bulldog. It bought the internet company in 2004, before it sold the business to Pipex for £12million in September 2006.

Aug 22, 2007