German politicians, journalists hit by massive data breach
German politicians, journalists and other prominent personalities are assessing the damage of a large data breach which has seen the publication of gigabytes of private data.
The breach carried on until October but it is not known when it began.
The dataset has been available for download since before Christmas, with details having been shared repeatedly on a Twitter account, @_0rbit (which has now been suspended), in the form of an advent calendar, according to German broadcaster rbb. Despite being publicly available for weeks, the leak only came to light yesterday, rbb correspondent Michael Götschenberg reported.
It is not known why German intelligence did not notice the leak earlier.
According to a report (in German) in Bild magazine, the attack has affected most parliamentary groups apart from the far right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. Affected parties were notified on Thursday.
Gigabytes of data have been dumped with no attempt to organise it, and details include emails, documents, contact lists for internal party members and even personal communications.
Other material included in the data dump includes copies of ID cards, letters, invoices, direct debit authorisations, chats with family members and personal credit card details.
Those affected include chancellor Angela Merkel and her entire cabinet, German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier and political comedians Jan Böhmermann and Christian Ehring.
Ehring was hit particularly hard with more than 3.4 gigabytes of data published including holiday photos.
Bild said that the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) began an investigation yesterday and is liaising with foreign intelligence services in an effort to track down the attackers.
However, Germany’s national cyber-security authority, the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), says the secure government network has not been compromised. Mitigation efforts are being led by the National Cyber Defense Center, the BSI said.
Mike Hart, vice president for central Europe at FireEye, said that the attack was alarming but not surprising. "We already saw what is possible last year when the Bundestag was successfully breached and we’ve also seen high profile politicians hacked in other countries such as President Macron in France and Matteo Salvini in Italy," he said.
Jake Moore, cyber security expert at ESET UK, said the attack was "far more targeted" than usual but should make the targeted politicians aware of the risks and consequences of a breach. "Luckily this stolen data is over a year old but assuming some credit cards are still active, I would suggest they take a few minutes to cancel the cards in question and add fraud protection before the hacking world takes advantage of this breach," he said.
Moore was not surprised that intelligence agencies had not seen the data earlier. "This comes down to how well the Twitter account was publicising it. It is likely that without traction from fellow account holders and strict phrase searching software, the German intelligence would not have heard about it for this length of time. There are billions of accounts and therefore it can sometimes be like searching for a needle in a haystack… and that’s if you know what the needle looks like," he said.
Matt Walmsley, EMEA director at Vectra, said the attack will make a big dent in "the German government’s credibility to secure itself".
"This is just the first of many high-profile breaches we’ll see this year and it serves a powerful reminder that well-resourced, motivated and persistent attackers almost always succeed," said Walmsley.
Kirill Kasavchenko, principal security technologist at NETSCOUT, said the attack will spur governments around the world to fight cyber-crime. "Regardless of the true motivations for this particular attack, all too often it’s still too easy for hackers to access and exploit sensitive information," he said.
Kasavchenko predicted, "That’s why 2019 will be the year western governments devise policy-driven initiatives that put the right security infrastructure in place, and provide government and law enforcement agencies with the means to combat criminal or nation-state cyberattacks."
Industry: Cyber Security News
- Head of CSOC (Cyber Security Operations Centre), London. Greenfield opportunity
CH7928 Identifier Project Head of CSOC (Cyber Security Operations Centre), London. Greenfield UNIQUE opportunity to establish, manage and grow a world class CSOC. Headquartered in the UK, the CSOC will grow and deliver cyber services into an international and underdeveloped market. As a greenfield site the Head of CSOC will be the first person on the ground to build a capability and team around them. The role will include, but not be limited to; Setting up and establishing a CSOC monitoring service using IBM QRadar and Palo Alto CORTEX XSOAR. Develop roadmap for future CSOC capabilities. Establish, develop processes, playbooks and use cases. Recruit, Build and train a specialist team. Build relationships with key clients- onboard and scale. The successful candidate must have experience working within / leading a technical Cyber Security monitoring capability. Technical experience working with IBM QRadar and Palo Alto CORTEX XSOAR will be highly beneficial, although other SIEM / Security Orchestration, Automation and Response tools are welcome as the skillset is transferable. This brings significant opportunity and welcomes creativity / best practice. Frequent travel to London office will be required. Chris.firstname.lastname@example.org 07884666351
- Aruba Data Centre Network Engineer
- Upto £500 a day
**Outside of IR35 contract** Aruba Data Centre Network engineer is required to start ASAP. You will be responsible for Data Center and Campus Network - Design and implementation of Aruba CX Switches, We are looking for an experienced data centre engineer who is happy to work remotely and autonomously Experience you will need to have, Solid Networking experience with good knowledge of -Routing & Switching - MP-BGP EVPN VXLAN, MPLS/VPLS, EIGRP, BGP, OSPF and Multicast, Experience with Aruba switches ideally the CX range Ideally SC cleared or able to become SC Cleared. This will be a 3 month rolling contract
- Network Engineer-
- 65000 plus bonus
An exciting opportunity has arisen with a global financal business that are looking for an experienced Network engineer with strong Firewall experience in particular Checkpoint You will be responsible for help to support and manage the network infrastructure both LAN/ WAN And VPNs and will have a focus on network secuirty (Checkpoint firewall and Security controls) This is a multi-Site environment with few thousand end users, As the business is growing so is the network so great opportunity to join an expanding business that will help cross-train you in both cloud and onsite solutions. They are looking for a strong network engineer with a mix of expereience o Experience with Azure networking managing VNETs, ExpressRoute, VPNs and other Azure network features such as NSG/MS loadbalancer is required. Working with Check Point firewalls in Azure is desirable. o In-Depth understanding of networking fundamentals including: Network topology, Data Centre Infrastructure systems, Layer 2/Layer 3 Switching, VLANs, Routing, VPNs, High availability protocols. o Demonstrable hands-on experience with Meraki Switches and wireless infrastructure, Arista software, Forcepoint Proxy (would be a strongly desirable), Citrix Netscaler, and Forescout CounterACT Location can be flexible, they are looking for someone who would be happy to do a hybrid working model 3 days at home 2 days in the office.
- Technical Cyber Trainer, United Kingdom
Technical Cyber Trainer, United Kingdom Cyber trainer needed to build a new cyber training capability to develop a team of international security analysts. Technical Cyber training experience is a MUST. Any experience delivering technical Blue team based training is highly desired. This is a UK based role. Able to travel to London on occasion- when required. Agile, flexible working. A technical background is highly desirable and prefered. The role Aid in the setup, fine tuning and on-going customisation of Technical Cyber Security’s training platform. CyberBit experience desirable. Design, develop and deliver the internal syllabus to train employees with low cybersecurity knowledge to become analysts. Manage, monitor, support and assess learners. Fine tuning training and bespoke development. Manage, monitor and assess SOC analysts. Support employees through their career. The ability to deliver remote training is essential. This is a UK based role. Able to travel to London on occasion- when required. Agile working. Apply today to find out more information. Chris.Holt@dclsearch.com +447884666351