AU Fintech Shares On All-Time Low After Cyber Attack

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Australian consumer financing company Latitude Group Holdings suffered a major blow from a large-scale data breach. The impact of the attack is likened to the Medibank and Optus breaches. And similarly, investors lost confidence in the company, sending its market shares down.

In a report published by The Cyberwire website, “Latitude Group Holdings announced that the personal data of approximately 328,000 customers were stolen in what appears to be a sophisticated and malicious cyber attack.” An official statement from the company noted, “while Latitude took immediate action, the attacker was able to obtain Latitude employee login credentials before the incident was isolated.” Richard Buckland, a cybersecurity expert at the University of New South Wales, expressed his concern about the breach.

Latitude’s official statement included, “As our review deepens to include non-customer originating platforms and historical customer information, we will likely uncover more stolen information affecting current and past Latitude customers and applicants. Our focus remains firmly on containing this attack, progressing our forensic review of the actions the attacker took, and restoring operational capability gradually over the coming days.”

The Melbourne-based company is the leading service provider for Australian retail giants like JB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys, Apple, and Harvey Norman. However, due to the attack, investors lost their confidence in Latitude. The breach resulted in a massive slump in share prices. The company recorded an all-time drop of 16.2 per cent, leaving the share price at $1.01 on trading resumption.

According to IG Australia market analyst Tony Sycamore, “the market is losing confidence in the company, and it (the cyberattack) is external, so it is already out of their control, which makes it more difficult. Right now, they are racing against time. They need to try and restore market confidence.”

Latitude, however, still needs to provide a formal statement regarding the existing loans and advanced credit shopping products it has offered. The company also assured its customers that any existing customer did not do the breach and that the attack was purely external. The company also recommends that customers contact the credit reporting bureaus to validate further if their information has been stolen.

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