The German subsidiary of British mobile operator Vodafone has been attacked by a hacker, who has reportedly stolen a huge amount of customer data. Police suspect that a contracted IT specialist carried out the attack.
The hacker had gained access to the names, addresses and bank account numbers of about 2 million Vodafone customers in Germany, the British mobile company announced Thursday.
The attack was thought to have been conducted by an IT systems administrator who worked for a company contracted by Vodafone, Vodafone Germany spokesman Alexander Leinhos said.
Vodafone claimed the person didn't get any passwords, security numbers or connection data.
“It's hardly possible to use the data to get direct access to the bank accounts of those affected,” Vodafone said in a statement.
Nevertheless, Vodafone Germany warned its customers that criminals might have got hold of the sensitive data and would try to get additional information about passwords and credit cards through so-called “phishing attacks” and fake e-mails.
Vodafone has about 32 million mobile phone customers and more than 3 million broadband subscribers in Germany. Immediately after the hacker attack had become known, the ports used by the criminal for access to the server had been sealed, Vodafone said.
Moreover, police had already identified a suspect and had carried out a search of his home, the firm added.
uhe/tj (AP, Reuters, AFP)