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3 Wipro BPO employees arrested for data theft

TalkTalk, client of Wipro says relationship with the company is under review post the breach

BS Reporter  |  Bengaluru 

People walk in the Wipro campus in Bengaluru: Photo: Reuters
People walk in the Wipro campus in Bengaluru: Photo: Reuters

The suspected data breaches by few BPO staffers of Wipro in Kolkata is likely to impact the Bengaluru-based company’s relationship with the client TalkTalk for whom these employees were working for. The Kolkata police last week had arrested three employees of Wipro who were handling British telecom firm TalkTalk’s back-office operations out of India, on charges of stealing of customers’ data.

The recent arrest could be linked to the data breach that TalkTalk went through in October last year when around 157,000 of its customer data including their bank account details were stolen. "Following the October 2015 cyber attack, we have been conducting a forensic review to ensure that all aspects of our security are as robust as possible - including that of our suppliers," said a statement by TalkTalk published in British public broadcaster, BBC.

"Acting on information supplied by TalkTalk, the local police have arrested three individuals who have breached our policies and the terms of our contract with Wipro. We are also reviewing our relationship with Wipro,” it added.

Wipro’s engagement with TalkTalk dates back to 2011 when it was chosen by the British company to provide customer service and technical support service. Several hundred of Wipro’s BPO employees currently work for the project that is mostly driven by its Kolkata centre.

“Wipro is committed to maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of all customer data and has a zero tolerance policy on security breaches. We would like to reassure our customers that the company continuously evaluates and strengthens its internal processes to protect itself and its customers from any data breach,” Wipro said in a statement.

Wipro also said that they reported the potential illegal activity to the relevant law enforcement authority in India, as soon as it came to its attention. “Wipro is working closely with the customer in the investigation and will continue to extend its full co-operation to the investigating authorities.”

Data breaches by people working with large Indian IT outsourcing are not common though of late a few such incidents came to light. In October last year, two employees of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) were arrested on allegations of tampering with the database of the Gemological Institute of America and altering diamond grading reports. The action was taken after TCS filed an FIR with the Gujarat police.

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First Published: Fri, January 29 2016. 10:43 IST