The European Central Bank announced on Thursday, July 24th that it had been the victim of an attack by hackers who stole more than 20,000 addresses and contact information. the ECB, said the hackers did not get access to any financial information or market data had, and the database that had been hacked was completely separate from all of ECB’s internal systems.
The ECB statement released today also said that all passwords have been changed as a precautionary measure, and the bank is contacting all of those whose e-mail addresses or other data might have been stolen.
Only European Central Bank’s registration database impacted
The database that was hit by the hackers serves the sections of the European Central Bank website involved in taking registrations for events such as conferences, lectures, tours and visits. The bank said that most of the information in the database was encrypted, but contact e-mail addresses, and many street addresses and phone numbers were not.
The database also contains a variety of data relating to downloads from the ECB website, but all of that data was encrypted.
Moreover, all user and administrative passwords have been replaced just for extra security, and the ECB is beginning the process of contacting individuals whose e-mail addresses or other contact information might have been compromised.
A spokesperson for the ECB, which has oversight of the financial systems of all 18 eurozone member states, reported that the bank had been alerted to the hack and data theft by an anonymous e-mail late Monday. The unidentified sender of the email was apparently seeking financial compensation for the data. According to cyber security experts, this kind of “data blackmail” has become increasingly common over the last year or so.
The European Central Bank said it has no idea who was responsible for the hack, but that the cyber crime unit of the Frankfurt Police Department is now investigating the case.