Tuesday 17 June 2014 by Adam Southward

Royal Mail urges people to change house numbers after data breach


Post Office data breach

The UK’s Information Commissioner is today investigating a massive data theft of names and addresses from a Royal Mail facility in Slough.

The data breach is said to be restricted to ‘only’ 2-3 million UK residents, although the full extent of the breach is not yet known.

“I can confirm that last night a directory was removed from our secure data facility in Slough,” said Royal Mail’s Head of Letters and Numbers.

“The paper directory, sometimes known as a ‘phone book’ contained millions of names and addresses in unencrypted format.”

“We apologise unreservedly for this breach, and we’re recommending people immediately change their house numbers to something more complicated, using a mixture of upper and lower-case numbers, then re-paint them on the front of their houses.”

Houses at risk of being stolen

“The problem is that most people still use the house numbers they were given when they first moved in,” says Post Operative Simon Williams.

“Some of the really obvious numbers, like ‘1’ are just asking to be hacked if you ask me.”

“It’s just laziness,” he continues. “People think just because they’ve never had their house number stolen it can’t happen to them.”

“Personally I change my house number every six months.”

Number %0! Downing Street refused to comment, saying it was a matter for the relevant authorities.

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