Vodafone Germany, the country’s second largest cellular carrier, published a press release today confirming a massive cyber attack on its servers that affected 2 million customers. The hacker, who is not identified, apparently accessed names, addresses, bank account details and additional personal data from the compromised accounts. He or she did not get any phone, credit card or ATM numbers.
The carrier believes that the hack could not have been pulled off without insider information and “high criminal energy.” Vodafone Germany has apparently identified a possible suspect and is working with German authorities to apprehend him or her. The company also warns its customers that the hacker or hackers may use the personal data they do have to gain more sensitive information, specifically through phishing attacks in the form of emails containing dangerous links and attachments or asking for banking information.
Privacy issues are particularly sensitive in Germany, making the hack all the more shocking. In an interview with Reuters, Internet security expert Mikko Hypponen noted that “this may well be one of the largest cases of personal data thefts for German customers.”