27 Mar 2023

Latitude hack much bigger than first thought, includes passports and addresses

3:43 pm on 27 March 2023
cybercrime, hacking and technology concept - hands of hacker in dark room writing code or using computer virus program for cyber attack

The company said records dating back to at least 2005 had also been stolen. Photo: 123RF

Financial company Latitude says the data of 7.9 million New Zealand and Australian drivers' licences has been stolen, as it confirmed the cyber attack on its systems this month was worse than previously thought.

Latitude first announced it had been hacked on 16 March], saying it believed the data of around 330,000 people had been accessed.

On Monday it posted an update on the ASX that the data of 7.9 million driver licence numbers of its New Zealand and Australian customers had been stolen, of which about 40 percent - 3.2 million - were shared with the lender in the past decade.

"In addition, approximately 53,000 passport numbers were stolen," the company said.

"We have also identified less than 100 customers who had a monthly financial statement stolen."

A Latitude spokesperson said they did not yet have information on how many New Zealanders' data had been stolen.

The company's Gem Visa card offers interest free deals at several major retailers, including Harvey Norman, Noel Leeming and Apple online.

The company said records dating back to at least 2005 had also been stolen, approximately 6.1 million records, 94 percent of which were provided to the company before 2013.

"These records include some but not all of the following personal information: name, address, telephone, date of birth," Latitude said.

Chief executive Ahmed Fahour said it was hugely disappointing that such a significant number of customers had been affected.

"We are committed to working closely with impacted customers and applicants to minimise the risk and disruption to them, including reimbursing the cost if they choose to replace their ID document," he said.

"We are also committed to a full review of what has occurred.

"We urge all our customers to be vigilant and on the lookout for suspicious behaviour relating to their accounts."

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