Alleged Paddy Power hacker denies 2010 breach and data theft

7 Aug 2014

The Canadian man alleged to have hacked Paddy Power and to have stolen details on 650,000 customers says he has been cleared of responsibility for the 2010 breach.

Paddy Power said recently it had to write to 649,055 customers whose personal, but not financial, details were compromised in a data breach dating back to 2010.

However, the Canadian man alleged to have stolen the identities Jason Ferguson, has admitted handling the data of 650,000 Paddy Power customers but said he had nothing to do with the actual 2010 breach.

In a statement to Canadian gambling news site the Calvin Ayre, Ferguson said he was issued with a search and seizure order over a Paddy Power database that was in his possession.

He said that in 2013 he purchased data with the intention of engaging in a casino affiliate campaign targeting gamblers.

“In 2013 December, I had purchased a lot of data, containing approximately 40 files,” Ferguson said.

“I was going to do a casino affiliate campaign and I thought the targeted gamblers data would be a good option at the time. In that lot of data I had purchased was a copy of approximately 650,000 Paddy Power customers but I was unsure if the file had been doctored or not to make it appear like they were active gamblers.

“In this industry almost 90pc of companies, if not more, procure targeted leads to market their brands and products.

“In the mainstream media, they’re writing without the facts. I see a lot of assumptions that the ‘Canadian hacker’ is the culprit. This is not the case.

“I under no circumstance was involved or know anything about the security breach of 2010 that affected the customers of Paddy Power.”


Ferguson said that having co-operated with Paddy Power and Leisure Gaming Group and the Ontario Provincial Police he has been cleared of the hacking allegations.

He said his only intent was to do what thousands of casino and sportsbook affiliates worldwide do and market the data.

“As of 6 August, I have been cleared of any claims as I have cooperated fully with Paddy Power and all authorities. They have all ascertained there is no way I hacked or had anything at all to do with their security breach in 2010,” Ferguson said.

Data security image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years