Massive Email Hack Hammers One-Fifth Of Germany

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Massive Email Hack Hammers One-Fifth Of Germany


An estimated 16 million email users in Germany have had their passwords and other information stolen by hackers.

Germany's Federal Office for Online Security [https://www.bsi.bund.de/EN/Home/home_node.html] (BSI) has announced that roughly 16 million email users in the country have had their passwords and other information compromised by a massive and widespread hack. Details of the breach weren't revealed but the agency said the hackers had managed to infect computers with a trojan that gave them access to the information.

Because the investigation is ongoing, the BSI wouldn't say how the hack was detected or pursued, but roughly half of the email addresses affected are in the .de domain and the majority of users appear to be in Germany, suggesting that the country was specifically targeted. Given that it has a population of 80 million, the hack impacts the equivalent of one-fifth of the total German population.

Shortly after the hack was revealed, the BSI set up a website [https://www.sicherheitstest.bsi.de/] to allow German citizens to check on whether their information had been compromised. Unfortunately for many nervous internet users, so many people tried to access the site at one time it crashed, although it appears to be back online for now.

Source: The Local [http://www.thelocal.de/20140121/agency-warns-of-16-million-email-accounts-hacked-bsi-germany]


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martyrdrebel27

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Feb 16, 2009
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Just as I predicted, Moon-Hitler has returned. Gathering the email information is just the first phase of taking over. Phase 3: profit.
 

teebeeohh

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Jun 17, 2009
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i am actually surprised people did this, back when our federal police was lobbing to use spyware against us this was precisely the kind of situation they were gonna use to spread their trojans.
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Oh great, I have three mail accounts at GMX, one of them being for work and other official stuff...

At least I haven't received a mail from the BSI yet, guess that's a good sign.
 

devilmore

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Nov 18, 2009
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Well that help website is useless. It only tells you that "some account attached to this email adress has been compromised". So assuming you use your mail for...well, many websites, there is no telling which account is compromised. So assuming you use a different password on every website this is totaly useless and also kinda irrelevent since only one website is affected.


Casadechrisso: While I am a Kraut with insomnia, I also live in Osaka and it's close to 11 am here :eek:
 

Weaver

Overcaffeinated
Apr 28, 2008
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Wait, what database got hacked here?
Does the German government just keep all emails for every citizen?
 

Baldr

The Noble
Jan 6, 2010
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Weaver said:
Wait, what database got hacked here?
Does the German government just keep all emails for every citizen?
Apparently it was people with an email ending in .de, though I've never heard of a TLD hack before, so a little confused on the details here.
 

Skeleon

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Nov 2, 2007
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16 million email users or accounts? I mean, I have at least three active email accounts.
 

Ian Kapsthan Frost

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Oct 26, 2009
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According to the website they seem to have basically stumbled upon the data on some Botnet server, and a lot of the data just happens to be from German accounts. There are probably plenty of others that have data from other countries, but they just haven't been found yet. I have let the website check two of my E-Mail accounts, but I'm apparently not affected.

It is a little worrying that they still don't know how the data was gathered in the first place, although they assume it has been gathered individually through viruses/keyloggers etc..

Maybe I should install another anti-virus program after all, does anyone know a good free one that won't slow my computer down too much?
 

Albino Boo

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Jun 14, 2010
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Weaver said:
Wait, what database got hacked here?
Does the German government just keep all emails for every citizen?

Its not a database its a botnet operating targeting email addresses with .de top level domain.


devilmore said:
Well that help website is useless. It only tells you that "some account attached to this email address has been compromised". So assuming you use your mail for...well, many websites, there is no telling which account is compromised. So assuming you use a different password on every website this is totally useless and also kinda irrelevant since only one website is affected.
Its not a website that has been compromised but peoples personal computers. So its the password to peoples webmail that has been comprised.
Baldr said:
Apparently it was people with an email ending in .de, though I've never heard of a TLD hack before, so a little confused on the details here.
Its a botnet targeting anyone with a .de email address. I suspect that someone, somewhere, has launched a botnet at .de TLD in the hope of catching webmail address of a large number of prominent people in business and politics with the hope of finding compromising/valuable data. There was something similar found in Finland late last year.
 

devilmore

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Nov 18, 2009
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devilmore said:
Well that help website is useless. It only tells you that "some account attached to this email address has been compromised". So assuming you use your mail for...well, many websites, there is no telling which account is compromised. So assuming you use a different password on every website this is totally useless and also kinda irrelevant since only one website is affected.
Its not a website that has been compromised but peoples personal computers. So its the password to peoples webmail that has been comprised.



No. See this:

"
Die von Ihnen angegebene E-Mail-Adresse [email protected] wurde zusammen mit dem Kennwort eines mit dieser E-Mail-Adresse verknüpften Online-Kontos von kriminellen Botnetzbetreibern gespeichert. Dieses Konto verwenden Sie möglicherweise bei einem Sozialen Netzwerk, einem Online-Shop, einem E-Mail-Dienst, beim Online-Banking oder einem anderen Internet-Dienst."

TL: The given email adress [email protected] was found together with a password associated with it in some online account on the botnet. You may be using this account on some social network, online shop, email service, online banking account or other online service.

The accounts stolen were not necessarily the Email accounts themselves, they were some account where you used this particualr email together with some password. It may or may not have been the email account itself. They won't tell because the investigation is ongoing.