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German government affected by a large-scale data-theft operation

Feb 2, 2014 // Andrew Stroup

16 million people were impacted by the security breach focused at the German government. The attack primarily focused on emails and passwords and the hackers were successful in compromising over 600 email login details.

Beyond the shear impact on the number of people affected by the attack is the underlying poor public response by Germany to come forward with this information. The security breach has been known to German authorities since August, but public outreach and awareness related to the attack only started appearing last week.

The attack specifically targeted users via a program that accessed a network (referred to as botnet) where sensitive data was transmitted unbeknownst to the user. Reports show that about half of the accounts have .de domains (German-based accounts) and the majority of the users are in Germany.

The Federal Office for Information Security has launched a website where users can check whether their account has been affected.