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Market Research Breach Spreads, Affecting Millions

Many market researchers have used this software. Photo: Rob Engelaar ANP

The number of businesses and people affected by a large-scale data hack related to market research software continued to rise on Friday and included Postcode Lottery, Engineering Pension Fund PME and a range of housing companies.

At the same time, Wormerveer-based software company Nebu, believed to be at the center of the scandal, has removed contact details from its website, and Enghouse, a Canadian owner listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, has questioned did not answer leak.

The exact number of people affected remains unknown. However, if you include 780,000 NS clients, 700,000 people who follow the Vrienden van Amstel Live concert series, and his 700,000 clients on the phone company VodafoneZiggo, the total could be over 2 million.

Pension Fund PME told pension news website IPE.com The leaked data included the last names, ages, and genders of 95,000 participants, as well as phone numbers for thousands. The medical organization CZ, the Dutch Golf Federation, the health and safety organization ArboNed, the transportation company Trevvel and the Dutch business organization RVO are also affected.

Privacy watchdog Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens has launched an investigation into the leak, but says it has yet to put together a full picture of what happened. In particular, the agency said it would like to know what the agreements between the various companies regarding the protection of personal information are.

Nebu works closely with Blauw Research, whose chief executive, Jos Vink, said two weeks ago when Nebu’s technical problems turned out to be a cyberattack, he sent the NOS an “alarm bell.” Nebu then “refused to cooperate in any way” when Vink reached out to confirm the hacker’s activity period and stolen data.

Companies wanting to know how their clients feel about their services consult market researchers such as Blauw, who use Nebu software to conduct surveys that include questions of a personal nature. .

Dave Maasland of security firm ESET Nederland said: “This incident shows how a weak link in one provider can have a significant impact on the security of the entire digital chain.


According to Marsland, the goal of hacking is to get people out of their money in a plausible way.

“If you just participated in a customer satisfaction survey and it says ‘Click here to get a thank you gift voucher,’ it would be very hard not to participate.” said they should be wary of emails demanding immediate action. “That’s the main giveaway,” he said.

Nebu was founded in the Netherlands in 1992, England, Hungary, Holland. It also partners with distributors in Sweden, Germany, the United States, and Australia, according to its website.

Acquired by Canada’s Enghouse in June 2021, according to the company’s press release.

Dutch News has reached out to Nebu in the Netherlands and Enhouse in Canada for comment.

https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2023/03/market-research-security-breach-spreads-millions-of-people-affected/ Market Research Breach Spreads, Affecting Millions

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