Earlier this week, umbrella company Parasol Group/Optionis came under attack after it confirmed that personal data was stolen by cybercriminals in a recent data security incident. Following the revelation, we’ve heard from several contractors, all of whom are upset about the breach. Affected freelancers are especially angry that, even though the cyber incident happened five weeks ago, it has taken Parasol over a month to tell them their data has been compromised.
To make matters worse, our cyber investigators have now discovered almost 6,000 pages of information purporting to come from Parasol on the dark web.
This is a significant security issue and Parasol contractors must take immediate steps to protect themselves.
What happened in the Parasol data breach?
Parasol shut down some of its systems after it uncovered “malicious activity” on its network. As a result, many contractor salary payments were delayed. Parasol later confirmed that personal data was accessed in the incident.
On 7 February 2022, Optionis Group, which owns Parasol, emailed its contractors and admitted that it had been unable to “ascertain the precise nature of the information” leaked. To date, this is still the case.
However, our cyber investigation team has found a significant amount of data that we believe comes from this breach on the dark web.
Parasol contractors must take immediate steps to protect themselves
Anyone whose data might have been compromised in this breach should take steps to protect themselves. Here are some top tips from our data protection experts on how to do this:
- Protect your finances. Contact your bank or credit card provider immediately if you spot any unfamiliar transactions or suspicious activity. It’s also worth keeping an eye on your credit score for any unexpected dips and contacting all the major credit reference agencies to ensure credit isn’t taken out in your name.
- Watch out for further attacks. Be on your guard in case criminals try to use the information stolen in the breach to try and extract additional information from you. Do not send any money to anyone without being 100% sure about where it is going and why.
- Put some data protection best practices in place. If you are concerned that your data might be at risk, take steps to stop the threat from escalating. For example, you could register with the Cifas protective registration service. You should also change your passwords and make sure your devices are protected by up-to-date internet security software.
If your data was compromised in this incident, but it has not yet been shared on the dark web, there is no guarantee that this won’t happen. The hackers might also choose to sell the records to other criminals. As such, many Parasol contractors are experiencing high levels of distress.
Contact us if you are concerned that your data has been leaked on the dark web
Keller Postman UK has launched a no-win, no-fee group action compensation claim to help those affected by this breach. If you register with us, one of the first things we will do is ascertain whether your data has been breached, and whether it is amongst the documents we have found on the dark web.
Register with us today.