dominos in the cloud

Hackers have demanded a 30,000 (£24,000) ransom not to make public the stolen personal details of 650,000 Domino's Pizza French and Belgian customers, including - bizarrely - their favourite special toppings preferences. This is not the same business as CIO 100 member Colin Rees runs the business technology shop for.

A hacker called 'Rex Mundi' made the mocking demand on Twitter, declaring, "we hacked our way into the servers of Domino's Pizza France and Belgium, who happen to share the same vulnerable database," it read.

"And boy, did we find some juicy stuff in there! We downloaded over 592,000 customer records (including passwords) from French customers and over 58,000 records from Belgian ones," he or she mocked.

The threat was then made that "If @dominos_pizzafr doesn't pay us tomorrow and we publish your data, u have the right to sue them. Speak to yr lawyer!"

The company had until today, 16 June, at 7pm BST, to pay the ransom or the details would be posted in public, the statement said.

Stolen details include names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, delivery instructions and even each customer's preferred topping combinations.

Extortion attempts a pretty standard hazard of doing business these days, but it is very rare for such attacks to be made public. Drawing attention to a ransom makes it highly unlikely that any money will ever be paid because the main motivation for a victim is to avoid such public attention.

More likely in this case the hacking group is trying to embarrass the firm after finding and exploiting one of a number of weaknesses referred to in earlier tweets. The ransom is also modest by web extortion standards that will run to six figures in most cases.

Domino's has already reportedly told media that it will not pay the ransom.

Last week, RSS news aggregation site Feedly made public an attempt to extort money from it using a sustained series of DDoS attacks also directed at other unnamed firms.

Domino's Pizza customers in France and Belgium will doubtless change their passwords but the real damage has been done; the names and addresses of users are now in the hands of criminals who also now know whether they like cheese and pineapple more than chorizo.