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What Is The Zellis Cyber Attack?

What Is The Zellis Cyber Attack?

July 4, 2023 8:56 am5 comments

The Zellis cyber attack and data breach hit news headlines recently. The payroll support company boasts several large clients, including DHL, Boots, the BBC and British Airways. All of these companies are said to have been affected, leaving the data of their employees exposed.

Below, we look at how the Zellis data breach happened, which companies were impacted, and the types of information exposed. 

We also look at what steps you can take if you’ve been impacted by the data breach. 

zellis cyber attack

What Is The Zellis Cyber Attack And Data Breach?

Zellis is a company that provides payroll support to numerous organisations in the UK. To help them provide this service, they use a file transfer tool called MOVEit. 

MOVEit was targeted by cybercriminals who exploited a vulnerability in its software. This allowed them to access the system and ultimately the massive amounts of data that was being transferred over its network. This resulted in the personal data of thousands of people being stolen

In response to the data breach, Zellis informed the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), who have both opened their own investigations. 

What Companies Were Impacted?

The Zellis data breach is said to have impacted the workforce of a number of its clients, some of which have tens of thousands of employees. 

The companies that have confirmed that they’ve been impacted include:

  • DHL – the delivery company has written to its staff confirming they’ve been impacted by the breach
  • Boots – the healthcare and pharmacy company has also confirmed its staff have been impacted
  • British Airways
  • The BBC

What Data Was Affected?

A range of different types of personal data is said to have been impacted by the Zellis cyber attack. This includes identifying information, like:

  • Names, both first and surname
  • Addresses
  • Email addresses
  • Dates of birth
  • National Insurance numbers
  • Bank details

It’s arguably the latter that is the most concerning for individuals. However, with enough other data, like names and National Insurance numbers, it’s possible for criminals to steal the identity of people, which can lead to them making purchases or taking out credit in their name. 

What To Do If You Are Impacted By The Zellis Data Breach

If you currently work, or have in the past, for any of the companies outlined above, you may have received a letter or email about the Zellis data breach. This is otherwise known as a data breach notification letter. 

This letter may confirm that you have been impacted by the cyber attack on Zellis and sets out the personal data that they suspect has been affected. 

This letter or email is very important if you decide to explore the possibility of taking further action, particularly a data breach claim. It serves as evidence, confirming that you have been impacted. 

If you wanted to take legal action over the Zellis data breach, a compensation claim could be possible. The correspondence received from your employer will prove very useful in helping a data breach solicitor work out if they can help you or not. 

If you haven’t received a letter and want confirmation from your employer, you can write to them and ask them to investigate. 

You should also keep a close eye on your bank accounts, credit rating, and online accounts to see if there has been any suspicious or fraudulent activity. If you also start receiving lots of unwanted texts, calls or emails, it could also be a sign that your data has been exposed. 

In this case, you should contact your bank without delay and look to change your passwords. 

How Do Cyber Attacks Happen?

The most common form of data breach is that caused by human error. This can involve anything from sending an email to the wrong person, failing to update addresses on systems, failing to redact confidential information, and devices containing personal data being lost or stolen. 

Data breaches can also occur as a result of cyber attacks. This is when criminals seek to hack firewalls and security software (like in the Zellis data breach case) or they try to infect systems with viruses that allow them to gain control. A common way this happens is via phishing attempts. This is where cybercriminals create imitations of websites, emails or text messages that appear real, all with the aim of trying to trick the person. 

It’s important to keep an eye out for any suspicious messages or calls and to double-check the like of website URLs, email addresses and phone numbers to ensure they’re from official sources.