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February 03, 2014

Orange Telecommunications Hacked, Over 800,000 Customers' Personal Data Breached

The war between hackers and Internet security has flared up with even more intensity than before, following a data breach for hundreds of thousands of Orange Telecommunications customers on January 16th. Though Orange took steps to shut down the hacking process immediately after detection, roughly three percent of the French telecom company's customers had their personal information stolen. This information includes their names, mailing addresses, email addresses and more, highlighting just how vitally important Internet security is to big companies like Orange.

This is not the first time Orange has been upset over unauthorized access to customer information. A month ago, Orange threatened to sue the NSA for tapping their submarine cables, which carry private customer and company information across oceans and around the world.

While the offending party in this circumstance was a government organization instead of an openly malicious hacker, Orange still voiced their concern heavily. If the NSA could access their data, it was only a matter of time until someone else would, and that is exactly what happened on January 16th.

According to a spokesperson at Orange, the passwords that customers use were not leaked due to heavy encryption protocols, but that doesn't mean that customers are completely safe. Now that hackers have their contact information, they can still make “phishing” attempts where they pose as Orange and simply ask customers for their passwords.

The good news amid all of this is that Orange is taking full responsibility to protect their customers, officially stating that “Orange is already in contact with all customers affected, and no action by our customers is required.” Orange also encourages their customers to remain vigilant, as they expect hackers will try to trick customers with phishing attempts.

The fact that Orange is standing up to protect their customers says that they are willing to do whatever to takes to ensure customer loyalty. Other companies found in similar situations often have their reputation tarnished as a result, but Orange is saving face by taking this stance. Their previous threat against the NSA only strengthens the impression that Orange simply continue to fight for its customers.

Edited by Blaise McNamee

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