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BBC’s Subscriber Mailing List Hacked By Spammers

Cyber criminals illegally accessed a collection of subscriber names and e-mail addresses from the BBC subscriber database to transmit "spam", or unsolicited e-mail marketing anti-impotence drugs such as Cialis and Viagra. People responding to the spammer faced the risk of receiving junk e-mails or viruses.

A BBC Spokesperson affirmed that members of public were targeted after their data had been stolen from a list of those registered subscribers who wished to have details about BBC's forthcoming Electric Proms music festival.

The junk e-mails marketed anti-impotence drugs at "US$ 1.49 a pill" but these ads were a cover for identity thieves trying to garner financial data from their targets.

Furthermore, the flood of spam e-mails sent by spammers contained automatic hyperlinks to Websites which permitted malware to hack files saved on a computer.

All-party Commons Culture Committee's Chairman John Whittingdale requested the BBC to take necessary measures to safeguard personal data from any future security failure, as reported by Telegraph on September 20, 2008.

He further stated that it was a dangerous lapse and it was imperative for BBC to take immediate action to check it. The impression that the BBC could be exploited to circulate malicious messages intended to cause Identity theft was a matter that had to be tackled earnestly.

The Shadow Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt maintained that BBC must ensure that the efficacy of its computer security need to be high so that personal data should not fall into the hands of hackers in near future, as reported by Telegraph on September 20, 2008.

A BBC spokeswoman, while remarking on this affair, said that a junk e-mail sent to the BBC was by chance transmitted to the subscribers included in the mailing list of the Electric Proms due to an administrative lapse, as reported by Telegraph on September 20, 2008. She further stated that since BBC was sorry for this lapse, it had communicated to everybody on the list to clarify the matter. She also wanted to assure subscribers that no information had been handed over to third party firms and that all the information saved on BBC's systems was fully safe.

Related article: BBC’s ‘Help’ Star Sentenced for Downloading Child Pornography

» SPAMfighter News - 9/26/2008

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