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Millions of Latitude customers impacted by cyber-attack could receive payments from potential class action




Millions of Latitude customers, whose sensitive data was leaked during a cyber attack, could be eligible for payments from a potential class action.

The consumer finance company revealed earlier this week that 14 million Australian and New Zealand customers were exposed after personal records were stolen from its systems by hackers.

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The attack, detected earlier this month, snared 7.9 million drivers licences, about 53,000 passport numbers and an additional 6.1 million records, including names, addresses, telephone numbers and dates of birth.

Now, Australian firm Hayden Stephens and Associates have launched an investigation which could lead to a class action against the company.

The lawyers will examine how the breach was able to happen and whether the company did enough to protect customers’ personal information.

Firm director Hayden Stephens told Sunrise it is “probable” that the data breach could have been avoided.

class="e1rue1fc0 figcaption css-1u2oo1a-StyledFigCaption-StyledFigcaption e13f1dd25">class="css-1vhm7mh-StyledFigCaptionText e13f1dd24">class="css-1vt5x9l-Caption e13f1dd23">Latitude Financial warns hackers may have stolen more customer information than first thought. (Jane Dempster/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

class="css-1n6q21n-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">“Very much a part of our investigation is to get answers to those questions; how did this occur and what harm has followed,” he said.

Stephens added anyone who has suffered “distress or anxiety” or “has evidence their data has been used in an inappropriate way” as a result of the hack, could be eligible for a payout.

“But this is why the investigation is important... to hear stories from consumers about their experiences arising from the Latitude data hack,” he said.

Stephens urged any customers out there who feel they have been affected should log onto the Latitude Financial Data Breach Investigation website.

Meanwhile, Latitude said on Wednesday its review had “uncovered further evidence of large-scale information theft affecting customers (past and present) and applicants across Australia and New Zealand.”

Its teams were “working urgently” to identify the total number of customers and applicants affected and the type of personal information that was stolen, Latitude said.

The company provides services to customers of a number of high-profile retailers, including JB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys, Harvey Norman and Apple.

- With AAP

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