Millions of customers hit by major data breach at Woolworths offshoot

Millions of customers’ data has been exposed in a major data breach at an online shopping site owned by retail giant Woolworths.

The company said a “compromised user credential” was used to get access to customer information from the MyDeal website.

MyDeal was in the process of contacting an estimated 2.2 million customers who were affected in the breach, the Woolworths Group said in a statement on Friday.

Woolworths’ subsidiary MyDeal has revealed a data breach.Credit:Peter Rae

The details exposed included customer names, email addresses, phone numbers and delivery addresses, as well as birth dates for people who had to verify their ages when buying alcohol.

In the case of 1.2 million customers, only their email addresses were exposed.

MyDeal does not store sensitive records such as payment information, driver’s licence or passport details and no passwords were compromised in the breach, the company said.

Woolworths took an 80 per cent stake in MyDeal in September in a takeover worth more than $200 million.

The company said MyDeal’s systems operated on a different platform to the broader group and no Woolworths customer details had been exposed in the breach.

MyDeal chief executive Sean Senvirtne apologised for the concern the breach would cause for affected customers. “We will continue to work with relevant authorities as we investigate the incident and we will keep our customers fully informed of any further updates impacting them,” he said.

The MyDeal data breach follows a massive hack at telco Optus in which the personal details of about 10 million customers were exposed.

That breach is subject to multiple investigations after the passport, licence and Medicare numbers of hundreds of thousands of Australians were compromised.

The government has vowed to review Australia’s privacy laws following the Optus hack and tighter protections could be introduced before the end of the year.


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