10:00 ET, 8 April 2014
German authorities have discovered 18 Million Email Passwords, this is probably the biggest Data Theft in the history of the country.
The news was published by the Der Spiegel journal on Thursday, German Authorities revealed that unknown hackers run another mass hacking campaign against private citizens stealing their data and information from major Internet companies in the country.
The law enforcement discovered a list of about 18 million stolen email addresses and passwords, the incident has occurred just two months later from the previous major data breach that hit 16 million German, also in that case email credentials were exposed.
Till now, there is no news regarding the massive data theft and there are no details on how criminals obtained a so large volume of information, experts believe that the extension of the data theft could be much larger. The data theft appears dated in the mid of January, journalists at Der Spiegel have hypothesized that behind both crimes there is the same criminal gang, they also suggested that hackers may be based in one of the Baltic countries.
As I explained many times in the past, every email account is a precious commodity in the hand of cyber criminals, they are used to send spam emails, to arrange phishing campaigns, or for online shopping.
Investigators sustain that the stolen emails may be also used to obtain the financial details of users’ accounts.
“It is suspected that these stolen records are being actively misused,” said Lutz Gaebel, spokesman of the prosecutor’s office in Verden.
Following the disclosure of news the German authorities invited citizens to take additional security measures to protect their account and prevent that they could be used for illicit activities.
It has been estimated that at least three million of the accounts belonged to German citizens, the German prosecutor and the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) are already working to help the Internet users with adoption of further security measures.