Latitude Financial hack: legal firms launch investigation and potential class action seeking payouts
Millions of customers could soon be compensated in a class action lawsuit after Latitude Financial admitted that the records of more than 14 million Australians had been hacked.
Law firms Hayden Stephens and Associates and Gordon Legal have announced a possible class action against the company, which provides consumer finance services to David Jones, JB Hi-Fi, Apple, The Good Guys and Harvey Norman.
Until recently, Latitude also had a “buy now, pay later” service called LatitudePay, which it recently discontinued.
The lawsuit comes just one day after Latitude Financial announced that a massive amount of customer information had been stolen – dating back to 2005, including 7.9 million driver’s license numbers, 53,000 passport numbers and 6.1 million customer records.
Fewer than 100 customers had their monthly financial records stolen.
Two law firms have launched an investigation into the Latitude Financial Services hack (pictured) after the personal data of millions of Australians and New Zealanders was stolen
The law firms will investigate the hack as part of a possible class action and are urging clients to sign up for updates.
Attorney Hayden Stephens said it needs to determine how the breach occurred and what damages were passed on to Latitude customers.
“A big part of our research is getting answers to those questions,” Mr. Stephens, director of Hayden Stephens and Associates, told Sunrise.
“It is possible, even probable, that this breach could have been avoided.”
Mr Stephens previously told the Australian newspaper that the possibility of compensation was being explored.
While all customers are encouraged to register for updates to the investigation, customers will likely need to prove damages as a result of the breach in order to join a potential class action lawsuit.
“In circumstances where someone has suffered distress or fear or seen evidence that data has been stolen or used in an inappropriate way, there is a good chance they could join the class action,” Mr Stephens said.
‘What’s important is to understand what your rights are… part of the research is getting answers to important questions and then providing information to consumers so they can make an informed decision about what to do next .’
The hack is also being investigated by the Australian Federal Police, while Latitude Financial is working with the Australian Cyber Security Center and cybersecurity experts to find the cause.
The director of Hayden Stephens and Associates, Hayden Stephens (pictured), urged all clients to sign up for updates in the investigation to make a decision on whether or not to participate in the potential class action lawsuit. court case
Latitude first updated the Australian Stock Exchange on March 16, writing that they had recognized unusual activity on their servers.
Initially, the company thought only 308,000 identification documents had been stolen.
“We are writing to you directly to update you on a recent cyber-attack to which Latitude Financial is actively responding,” Andrew Walduck, Chief Operating Officer of Latitude Financial, wrote to customers later that day.
“Unfortunately, the attack led to the theft of some customer data.
“Latitude apologizes to its customers, especially those affected by this.”
The company believes there hasn’t been any suspicious activity since the original hack.
The company’s CEO, Ahmed Fahour – who retires on Friday – apologized “unreservedly” for the hack.
“It is extremely disappointing that such a significant number of additional clients and applicants have been impacted by this incident,” he said in a press release to the ASX.
“We are committed to working closely with affected customers and applicants to minimize risk and disruption to them, including reimbursing them if they choose to replace their ID. We are also committed to a full assessment of what happened.”
The March 16 hack stole approximately 14 million pieces of personal information, including 7.9 million driver’s license numbers, 53,000 passport numbers, and 6.1 million customer data (stock)
Latitude now joins a string of companies that have been attacked by hackers in the past 12 months.
On March 29, real estate development giant Meriton confirmed that they had fallen victim to a hack more than two months earlier on January 14.
The data stolen in the hack reportedly includes personal information such as bank details, birth certificates, and employee information such as salaries and HR complaints.
Meriton has warned 1,889 people affected by the hack to take steps to protect their identities.