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Major U.K. mobile retailer hit by hackers, 2.4 million customers affected

One of the U.K.’s major mobile phone retailers has been targeted in a cyberattack that may have seen the personal details of up to 2.4 million of its customers stolen.

However, the situation looks to be even more serious, as the company admitted that of those, around 90,000 could also have had their credit card details accessed.

The company, which has around 2,400 stores across Europe, said Saturday it’d discovered the “sophisticated” breach last Wednesday and promised it’d taken “immediate action” to secure its computer systems. An AP report, which suggested the attack could’ve taken place as early as July 22, also quoted a number of Carphone Warehouse customers who were angry it’d taken until the weekend to reveal the hack.

The damaging cyberattack involved a number of Carphone Warehouse divisions, among them OneStopPhoneShop.com, e2save.com, and Mobiles.co.uk, the company confirmed.

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“Our investigation has indicated that personal data which may include name, address, date of birth and bank details of up to 2.4 million customers may have been accessed,” Dixons Carphone, which owns Carphone Warehouse, said in a release.

The company said it was in the process of contacting affected customers “to inform them of the breach and to give them advice to reduce any risk and minimise inconvenience,” adding that additional security measures have already been put in place.

In an ongoing effort to bolster its cyber security defenses, the U.K.’s main intelligence agency last year green-lighted six universities to start offering specialist Master’s degrees in online security. Meanwhile, research published in June found that hackers are costing British businesses as much as £34 billion ($52 bn) a year, with around £16 billion ($24 bn) of that spent by companies on bolstering their computer security systems.