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Thu 22 Aug 2019 03:06 PM

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Global Village says customers 'not at risk' after hacking claims

Global Village dismisses claims that 15,000 fingerprints it held had been accessed by hackers

Global Village says customers 'not at risk' after hacking claims

Global Village, Dubai's multicultural festival park, has insisted it is not at risk from cyber criminals despite being named in a list of companies affected by a leak of sensitive data.

It dismissed claims that 15,000 fingerprints it held had been accessed by hackers, saying in a statement carried by The National newspaper that “is currently not facing any security vulnerability”.

It issued the statement after researchers working with cyber security company vpnMentor said they were able to access more than a million fingerprints, and other sensitive data, used by a security tool known as Biostar 2.

The platform is used by thousands of companies, including Global Village.

In the statement, Global Village added: “We do not collect any biometric data from our guests and visitors as only entry ticket barcodes are scanned once they enter Global Village.

“We are currently investigating this report internally and we will not be giving any further comments on it.”

The researchers claimed they had been able to access large databases used by the Biostar 2 security systems.

In a blog on its website, vpnMentor said: "The data leaked in the breach is of a highly sensitive nature. It includes detailed personal information of employees and unencrypted usernames and passwords, giving hackers access to user accounts and permissions at facilities using BioStar 2.

"This is a huge leak that endangers both the businesses and organisations involved, as well as their employees. Our team was able to access over 1 million fingerprint records, as well as facial recognition information. Combined with the personal details, usernames, and passwords, the potential for criminal activity and fraud is massive."

It added: "Once stolen, fingerprint and facial recognition information cannot be retrieved. An individual will potentially be affected for the rest of their lives."

Suprema, the firm that builds and markets Biostar 2, said in a statement to the BBC News that it was aware of reports of the breach and was taking them "very seriously".

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