• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Huge security breach for German credit cards

The Local · 13 Dec 2008, 10:14

Published: 13 Dec 2008 10:14 GMT+01:00

Microfilm containing the extensive data was sent to the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper anonymously in the post, causing investigators to question the security procedures of the bank concerned.

The data was simply sent in a cardboard box, addressed to the editorial office. When they opened it, journalists found a mess of open envelopes containing secret numbers and other data, and pieces of microfilm – prompting them to scramble for strong magnifying glasses to read what was there.

Not only the account numbers but also credit card details such as PIN numbers and details of payments were among the stolen data.

And although the data was from the Landesbank Berlin, because it is the country’s biggest issuer of credit cards, customers from all sorts of institutions up and down the country have been affected.

The paper says it has details of credit card bills detailing full names of the customers, addresses, bank account numbers, credit card numbers and every payment and transfer.

The data is from this year, it says, with purchases dating from as recently as August.

People holding the following credit cards are among those affected - Amazon Visa, White Lable Premium, various ADAC visa and master cards, LBB cards and even the Xbox classic card.

“This is a scandal of considerable scale,” Alexander Dix, the Berlin state data security representative. “The investigating authorities must act.” He said the idea of sending packages of microfilm in the post was particularly odd, he added. “That is a method of data storage which belongs to the last century.”

A spokesman for his federal counterpart Peter Schaar told the paper, “The diversity and actuality of the data is unimaginable. I would not have considered such a thing to be possible.”

The question was also raised of where else the data might have been sent. “It is possible that the same packet could have been offered for sale,” the spokesman said.

He also said it was surprising that the Landesbank stored such material on microfilm “This is a very strange thing. It does not meet the latest security standards.”

Story continues below…

The Landesbank Berlin works with the financial services provider Atos Worldline to administer the credit cards. The cardboard box also included a bill for €71,400 – from Atos to the Landesbank.

Hundreds of thousands of credit card bills are moved between the Landesbank and Atos but, as the Frankfurter Rundschau described it, “This time something went wrong.”

It said both companies were taken by surprise when contacted by reporters and vowed to investigate immediately.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
Munich pulls together after shopping mall shooting
Photo: DPA

In the chaos after the Munich mall shooting, city residents spontaneously offered shelter to strangers - a move that Chancellor Angela Merkel said showed that Germany's strength lies in its values.

Merkel deplores 'night of horror' in Munich
Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday said Munich had suffered a "night of horror" after a shooting spree in the southern German city left nine people dead.

Munich shooting
Munich attacker was shy video game fan
People laying flowers at the site of the shootings. Photo: DPA.

David Ali Sonboly was a quiet, helpful teenager who loved playing video games. His neighbours say there were no warning signs before his deadly rampage at a Munich shopping mall.

Munich shooting
Munich gunman inspired by rightwing Breivik: police
Photo: DPA

The lone teenager who shot dead nine people in a gun rampage in Munich was "obsessed" with mass killers such as Norwegian rightwing fanatic Anders Behring Breivik and had no links to the Islamic State group, police said Saturday.

Munich shooting
Turks, Kosovans and a Greek among shooting victims
Photo: DPA

Three Turkish citizens were among the nine people killed in Germany's Munich mall shooting. Three Kosovans were also among the nine victims.

Munich shooting
Munich gunman was likely not Isis terrorist: police
Flowers laid at the Olympia Shopping Centre underground station. Photo: DPA

According to initial investigations by Munich police, the young man who went on a shooting rampage in Munich on Friday evening was a lone gunman without motive, not a terrorist.

Munich shooting
'Lone' Munich shooter kills nine, commits suicide
Photo: DPA

A teenage German-Iranian gunman who killed nine people in a shooting spree at a busy Munich shopping centre and then committed suicide had likely acted alone, German police said Saturday.

As it happened
Nine dead in shooting rampage in Munich
File photo: DPA

Nine people are dead after "at least one person" went on a shooting spree in a Munich shopping centre on Friday evening. An attacker is believed to be among the dead.

German Turkish community split by unrest after coup plot
Pro-Erdogan protesters in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Hatred between supporters of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and those opposed to him has exploded on social media in Germany in the wake of a failed coup attempt last Friday.

Germany stresses defence of Baltics after Trump comments
Photo: DPA

Germany on Friday stressed its promise to protect its NATO allies after White House hopeful Donald Trump called the commitment into question.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Analysis & Opinion
Nice was an attack on France, not on Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
10,808
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd