All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis

Unknown malware hijacks 16 million German email accounts

21 Jan 2014
Security threats - password theft

Hackers have compromised over 16 million German email accounts, according to the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI)

The BSI revealed the news in an alert notification, confirming it has already set up a site to let concerned citizens find out if their accounts have been breached.

"In the analysis of botnets by research institutions and law enforcement agencies around 16 million user accounts were found to be compromised," read the alert. "[The BSI] has set up a website where citizens can check whether they are affected by the identity theft."

It is currently unclear what malware was used to compromise the accounts or if the BSI has shut down the operation. At the time of publishing the BSI had not responded to V3's request for comment.

The BSI warned affected web users to change their passwords sooner rather than later, as the information could be used to mount follow-on attacks. "Users should change all passwords they use to log on to social networking sites, online shops, email accounts and other online services," read the statement.

Data-stealing cyber attacks have been a growing problem for the public and private sector. Numerous security vendors have reported an increase in the number of active hack campaigns in the past year. Telecoms giant Cisco said cumulative annual threat alert levels increased by 14 percent over the last year, in its latest threat report.

Fighting cyber threats has been one of the UK government's central goals since it launched its Cyber Security Strategy in 2011. The strategy has seen the government launch a variety of anti-hacker initiatives. The Home Office launched a new Cyber Streetwise campaign earlier in January, hoping to educate businesses and citizens about how to protect themselves from hackers.

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

More on Security
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus

Tech gifts for Christmas 2014

Is a new tablet on your wish list this festive season, or have they become yesterday’s fad?

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
iPhone 6 is available in silver gold and space grey

iPhone 6 video review

The best iOS handset to date

Updating your subscription status Loading

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button

Getting started with virtualisation

Virtualisation can help you reduce costs, improve application availability, and simplify IT
management. However, getting started can be challenging


Converting big data and analytics insights into results

Successful leaders are infusing analytics throughout their organisations to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimise outcomes

DV Cleared Senior Technical Support Engineer

DV Cleared Senior Technical Support Engineer with in...

Problem Manager

ITIL v2 SM Foundation and v2 Problem Management Practitioner...

PHP Application Developer

Looking for a move into the explosivegrowth area of social...

Senior Portal & MI Analyst

Are you an experienced Portal, Knowledge Management System...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.