Massive hack compromises data of two million Vodafone Germany customers
- 12 September, 2013 19:30
Vodafone, the second largest mobile phone carrier in the world, announced that one of its German-based servers has been hacked, and the personal information of two million customers has been compromised.
While customer credit card numbers, passwords, PIN numbers, and mobile numbers were able to remain secure, the hacker was able access information such as the name, address, date of birth, and gender. Fortunately, that personal information won't allow criminals to steal from bank accounts directly--but it will leave those customers more vulnerable to sophisticated phishing scams.
The breach only affects Vodafone Germany customers and will not affect other customers who have been notified of the breach.
According to the Google translation of Vodafone's German-language release, the attack was only possible with "high criminal energy and inside knowledge" and a suspect has already been identified and is being sought by the authorities.
Still, let's put the number "2 million" in some perspective: Germany is a nation with a population of roughly 80 million, so the hack affects one-in-40 of that nation's citizens (who are known to be among the most finicky about privacy issues). The number gets more astounding if you subtract the 13% of the population below the age 14--those least likely to own their own mobile phones. If all those affected customers formed their own U.S. state, it would be the 37th most populous. Basically it's similar to saying the entire population of Nebraska just had their data compromised. Crazy.