Security breaches that are allowing the financial details of tens of thousands of Britons to be sold on the internet are to be investigated by the country's information watchdog.
Without paying a single penny, The Times downloaded banking information belonging to 32 people, including a High Court deputy judge and a managing director. The private account numbers, PINs and security codes were offered as tasters by illegal hacking sites in the hope that purchases would follow.
Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner, will begin an investigation into the security breach today and Scotland Yard is also investigating. Experts said that the findings suggested that more personal data than ever before was going astray. The Times found: More than 100 websites trafficking British bank details A fraudster offering to sell 30,000 British credit card numbers for less than Â£1 each A British "e-passport" for sale, although the Government insists that they are unhackable.