A group of hackers has published the personal details of hundreds of German politicians, but also German artists and local YouTube celebrities.
The data was uploaded online and later promoted via Twitter, starting a few days before the Christmas holiday. The source of the data appears to be the victims’ smartphones. Details about how the data was stolen and exfiltrated from infected phones remain unclear, at the time of writing. According to German news outlets [1, 2, 3], the leaked data contains names, home addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, photo IDs, personal photos, and personal chat histories.
Read more about the disturbing data leak on ZDNet.
The rising number of hacking attacks is prompting more companies in Germany to seek cyber insurance protection, insurance broker Marsh said on Tuesday.
While cyber premiums in Germany are expected to be worth only around $10 million this year – compared with $2 billion in the United States – the German market is expected to grow by 30 percent per year in the future, Marsh estimated.
Read how more and more German firms are opting for cyber insurance in view of the heightened cyber attacks on Business Insider.
In my analysis, I compared both documents’ usage of the term “cyber” and found that while they vary somewhat in their approach, both documents support the view that norms and international partnerships are crucial in addressing today’s threats in the field of information security.
Read a comparative study of cyber security policies of Germany and the United States on Trip Wire.
Editor’s note: we actually count four major times physical damage was cause by Cyber, but wanted you to see this summary from Wired:
Amid all the noise the Sony hack generated over the holidays, a far more troubling cyber attack was largely lost in the chaos. Unless you follow security news closely, you likely missed it.
I’m referring to the revelation, in a German report released just before Christmas (.pdf), that hackers had struck an unnamed steel mill in Germany. They did so by manipulating and disrupting control systems to such a degree that a blast furnace could not be properly shut down, resulting in “massive”—though unspecified—damage.
Read more about the cyber attack causing physical damage on Wired.
Researchers at Microsoft have spotted a new variant of the Emotet Trojan, a threat used by cybercriminals to collect banking credentials. The malware variant, detected by Microsoft as Trojan:Win32/Emotet.C, was first seen in November, when malicious actors were distributing it with the aid of spam emails related to phone bills and invoices.
The campaign, which peaked in November, mainly targeted German speakers. In the last 30 days, the largest number of victims were identified in Germany (44.33%), Austria (11.64%), and Switzerland (3.66%). Infections were also seen in Hungary, Poland, the Netherlands, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Denmark and the Slovak Republic, Microsoft said.
Read more about the new variant of Emotet Trojan which is targeting mostly German users on Security Week.
An attack launched by an advanced persistent threat (APT) group against an unnamed steel plant in Germany resulted in significant damage, according a new report. Cyberattacks on critical infrastructure are a reality and they’re becoming more frequent. An IT security report for 2014 published by Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) on Wednesday describes a noteworthy incident that caused physical damage to a facility.
According to the agency, sophisticated attackers used spear-phishing and social engineering to gain access to the office network of a steel plant. From this network, they made their way into the organization’s production network.
Read more about how a advance persistent threat (APT) can be used to destabilise the infrastructure on Security Week.
A phishing campaign targeting German users relies on emails claiming to be from reputable companies like Vodafone, Telekom and Volksbank to spread malware. The messages are written in German and purport to deliver an invoice, pointing the recipient to an address where the malicious software sample is hosted.
Researchers at AVG said that the campaign started earlier this year, when it targeted Germany in particular. Recently, though, they have observed that the actors behind it have taken the operation to a higher level and now send the emails to users all over the world.
Read more about this phishing campaign which targets German users through email on Softpedia.
According to The Süddeutsche Zeitung, the country’s BND – its federal intelligence service – wants €300 million in funding for what it calls the Strategic Technical Initiative. The Local says €4.5 million of that will be spent seeking bugs in SSL and HTTPS.
The BND is shopping for zero-day bugs not to fix them, but to exploit them, the report claims, and that’s drawn criticism from NGOs, the Pirate Party, and the Chaos Computer Club (CCC). German Pirate Party president Stefan Körner told The Local people should fear governments more than cyber-terror.
Körner is also critical of the strategy on the basis that governments shouldn’t be helping fund the grey market for security vulnerabilities, a sentiment echoed by the CCC.
The CCC’s Dirk Engling called the proposal legally questionable and damaging to the German economy. The SZ report also points out the serious risk that a zero-day bought on the black market will also be available for purchase by criminals for exploitation.
Read more about how the BND is making provisions for buying the Zero-day exploits on The Register.