We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
Advertising Disclosure

vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

Hackers Stole Data From 470k Southern Water Customers

Hackers Stole Data From 470k Southern Water Customers
Keira Waddell Published on 20th February 2024 Senior Writer

Southern Water, a leading utility firm in the UK, has disclosed that the personal data of nearly half a million customers may have been compromised. The breach is one of the largest affecting the water industry in recent times and has raised serious concerns over its digital security.

The utility company serves approximately 4.6 million customers across Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, and the Isle of Wight. It has confirmed that hackers stole personal details of at least 5% to 10% of its customer base. Both current and former Southern Water employees have also been impacted by the breach. In its latest annual report, Southern Water stated that it had 6,000 active employees.

The compromised data may include sensitive information such as names, dates of birth, national insurance numbers, and bank account details, as alleged by the BBC. However, Southern Water itself has declined to confirm what data was stolen, though they are reaching out with this information to those affected.

The company first detected suspicious activity on its IT systems in January, leading to an in-depth investigation that revealed the extent of the data theft. It has since apologized for the breach and has enlisted independent cybersecurity experts to monitor the dark web for any signs of the stolen data being published or sold.

The attack was claimed by the Russia-linked Black Basta ransomware gang, a group linked to several high-profile cyber incidents. This gang has been active since April 2022 and is known for its double-extortion attack model. On its dark web site, it announced that it had stolen 750 gigabytes of sensitive data from Southern Water, including personal and corporate documents.

However, Southern Water reports that no new evidence of the accessed data has been found online, and the company is no longer listed on the gang’s website. It is quite common for companies to pay hackers’ ransom demands to see their public listings withdrawn from criminal forums. But Southern Water has refrained from disclosing whether it complied with any ransom demand made by the attackers.

To mitigate risks, Southern Water is offering those affected 12 months of free Experian credit monitoring, which can help to detect and prevent the fraudulent misuse of personal information.

The company has notified the police and the Information Commissioner’s Office about the incident. Southern Water’s IT security teams have also begun working with independent incident response experts, using enhanced monitoring and protection tools to actively check for any further suspicious activity on its IT systems.

About the Author

Keira is an experienced cybersecurity and tech writer dedicated to providing comprehensive insights on VPNs, online privacy, and internet censorship.