Vodafone Germany blames 'insider' after hacker steals 2 million customer records

Suspect contractor arrested

Vodafone Germany has become the latest firm to find itself on the receiving end of a serious data breach after admitting that a hacker with inside knowledge has managed to steal the personal data of two million customers.

The server breach in early September compromised customer names, addresses, birth dates, and bank account numbers but not, thankfully, mobile numbers, PIN numbers and passwords or credit card details, the company said.

"Vodafone deeply regrets the incident and apologises to all those affected," Vodafone Germany said in a statement.

The company had "filed charges" against an unspecified individual it believed was connected to the attack that could only in its opinion have been carried out with intimate knowledge of its systems. That person's home had been searched as part of the police investigation.

German media reports have claimed that the suspect worked for a contractor and not Vodafone itself, but this has not been confirmed.

The question of course is what damage has been done by a breach that is reminiscent of the infamous attack on Sony in 2011. Vodafone has warned of phishing attacks using the stolen email addresses, which will be a significant problem if they do occur; the attackers will be armed with first name and surname, often enough to catch consumers off guard.

"This attack is particularly surprising given strict German protection methods around auditing of data access and encryption of sensitive information," said George Anderson, Senior Marketing Manager for endpoint security firm, Webroot

"The main concern now is potential phishing attacks aimed at Vodafone's customers. Vodafone customers should change their security details on the accounts affected, by phone, just in case their PC is infected and run additional external security scans and checks on their PCs," he advised.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Mobile &ampVodafone Germany4gtelecommunication3gCarrierssecuritywirelesssony

More about SonyVodafoneWebroot

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by John E Dunn

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place