Hundreds of politicians and celebrities have become victims of a hacker attack. Private data, such as phone numbers, letters and invoices, have been published unnoticed.
1. What happened in the current attack?
According to a report by Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb), hackers have published personal data of public figures on Twitter as well as in a blog. Hundreds of politicians from the Bundestag, from Brandenburg, but also artists, journalists, YouTubers and celebrities such as the satirist Jan Böhmermann or the musician Marteria are affected. In the process, telephone numbers and private addresses were published. According to media reports, images of ID cards, credit card data and letters or bills were also disseminated.
Viewed from the outside, the attack can be classified as moderately serious. No confidential data has been published so far. Brisantly, the data was already published in December without anyone noticing. In the meantime, individual pages have been removed again.
However, it is not clear what other data has been stolen. Politicians in particular are at risk of having confidential information stolen from the Bundestag. For journalists, the focus is particularly on access data for social media and editorial systems, which could be misused to spread fake news, but also confidential research.
2 How can you protect yourself from this?
It can be assumed that the data in the current cyber attack was collected over a longer period of time. In order to be alerted at an early stage about an irregular data leakage, the use of security managers is recommended. By means of intelligent security software, the computer network is permanently checked for attacks by criminals and sounds the alarm in case of emergency.
Nevertheless, one must not forget: As a human being, you are the biggest risk factor for IT security. Only permanent and regular sensitization measures can help here, especially for employees in companies or small businesses. Permanent mistrust can expose hacker attacks, especially phishing, spear phishing and CEO fraud.
Thus, hackers will often use psychological strategies to get victims to reveal the information they want. But fear and curiosity are also driving factors. You should always be suspicious of emails with prompts, for example: “We have a surprise for you,” “All colleagues have taken part in the promotion,” or “Log in and receive a voucher for 50 euros.” Therefore, do not allow yourself to be pressured and check the identity of e-mail senders and callers sufficiently!