Vodafone Germany admits to massive data systems breach

Inside job nets two million customer records

jeroen - from ireland to england with love

Vodafone Germany has been forced to admit that an independent contractor had stolen the details of over two million of its customers in that country. The admission means that German Vodafone customers should be alert to signs of ‘phishing’ on both the fixed and mobile internet. GoMo News recommends smartphone users should immediately install a mobile security app that helps protect against identity theft. Such apps are frequently actually free. The news follows the announcement that Dutchman Jeroen Hoencamp has been appointed as the CEO of Vodafone UK after Guy Laurence left to join Canadian Telco, Rogers Communications. He has been replaced as CEO of Vodafone Ireland by Anne O’Leary.

Vodafone was forced to reveal that it had been the subject of a “highly sophisticated and illegal intrusion” which had resulted in the theft of information about its mobile phone customers.

The contractor has been arrested but not named and Vodafone claims that it all  of its affected German customers have been notified.

He/she installed Vodafone who installed software on one of  Vodafone’s servers to steal information such as names, addresses, birth dates, gender and bank details.

The worry is that if this data gets into criminal hands it could also be used to set up direct debits or  other forms of  identity theft.

However, no call information, data or credit card details, mobile phone numbers, PIN numbers or passwords were lifted off the server

Vodafone claims to have set up an independent fraud protection service for customers that were affected.

Vodafone Germany told The Times that it,  ”has world-class security systems which are constantly updated and upgraded to block new emerging threats.”

IT continued, “However, this attack was highly complex and conducted with inside knowledge of our most secure systems.”

*Footnote. Vodafone’s bid for Kabel Deutschland is going through after  it secured 75 per cent of the shares in Germany’s largest cable television business. The deal is worth in the region of £6.6 billion.

About Hans Cett

Hans Cett is an established freelance author and consultant specialising in the mobile communications industry. He also writes for Countdown2MWC - http://countdown2mwc.wordpress.com/
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