Over 2 million Vodafone users in Germany have their personal data in jeopardy as hackers accessed names, address books, bank account details and dates of birth information of various users. Even though mobile numbers, passwords and credit card details are thought to be safe, the leaked information is of large magnitude, with ample fodder for follow-up phishing attacks.
The truckload of data was stolen from a database sitting on the company’s internal network. The company had informed its customers about the breach, and had warned them to watch out for “phishing” messages that will attempt to extract personal information.
A Vodafone representative said that it’s not likely that any banking information can be obtained by the hackers, but nevertheless customers were told to keep a watch on their bank accounts and are warned to be alert regarding email and mobile phishing attacks that look to sniff out further information.
The wireless operator further stated that the attack had only been accomplished through inside knowledge, with law enforcement agencies and officials at Vodafone unable to identify the alleged hacker when contacted via telephone.
A statement made by German authorities said that Vodafone’s German subsidiary promised to tighten up the security of its systems to be prepared in the future against such attacks.
Vodafone has more than 32 million mobile phone customers and more than 3 million broadband subscribers in Germany. The nation contributes more to Vodafone’s profit and revenue than any other country. It accounted for an approximate 18% of sales at the end of the fiscal year.
The company is now trying to conclude a 7.7 billion Euro ($10.2 billion) takeover of Kabel Deutschland
Holding AG, one of Germany’s biggest cable companies, in order to increase customer loyalty and expand in the country with packages combining TV services, phone and the Internet.