Cable and Wireless blames sacked executive for missing database

Telco Cable and Wireless has blamed a sacked executive for the illegal use of a database of 100,000 customer details. The company has now served an injunction on the person.

The database was stolen when an employee went on a business trip to Pakistan two years ago. Details form the database have been used in call centres in country to dupe unsuspecting victims into divulging credit card details, according to an investigation carried out by the BBC.

As reported by IT PRO, the database was owned by Cable and Wireless's Bulldog Broadband subsidiary. Bulldog has since been sold off to ISP Pipex. Bulldog owned the database at the time of the theft.

Cable and Wireless took out an injunction against former employee Seemab Zafar to hand over any part of the database, including names, addresses and financial details. Zafar failed to return from the business trip and has since set up an outsourcing business in Pakistan. She denied she possessed any part of the stolen database.

Cable & Wireless told the BBC that "the employee did not return as planned and was then sacked". The company added that it took the "matter very seriously".

Since the database was stolen some customers have fallen victim to fraud and identity theft and left thousands more exposed to the threats. However the company pointed out that accounts of victims of credit card fraud were not linked directly to data held on the database.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.