• Germany's news in English
 

Cheap software led to police hack

Published: 16 Jul 2011 11:01 GMT+02:00

This month's attack on police servers by the "No Name Crew" hackers had much more serious consequences than previously thought, according to a report in news magazine Focus.

According to the magazine, the government's newly founded cyber-defence department, the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) reported internally on Friday that every single server of the police's spy programme "Patras" had been infiltrated by hackers.

Patras is used to locate serious criminals and terrorist suspects by gathering information from GPS systems in cars and mobile phones. It is used by both state and federal police forces, as well as Germany's customs officers.

Following the cyber-attack, which took place earlier this month, all of the relevant servers had to be shut down to prevent more data being stolen.

According to the internal BSI report to the German interior ministry, the "No Name Crew" even hacked the central database of the federal police, in Swisstal-Heimerzheim in North Rhine-Westphalia.

This could lead to hundreds of confidential police investigations appearing on the internet. "That is pretty much the worst thing that could happen," an anonymous security officer told Focus.

The report said the hack came about because the police did not adequately protect its servers, using what was described as "cheap protection software." It also said that "fundamental security measures" such as "dealing with passwords" had been ignored.

The No Name Crew had previously hacked the servers of the far-right National Democratic Party and published sensitive information including a list of its donors.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

11:27 July 16, 2011 by harcourt
Nice to see that the police are saving us money. However I think in this case it is a little short-sighted !!
20:13 July 16, 2011 by DrStrangelove
If you think you can rely on some commercial software, be it cheap or expensive, for protection of your servers, then you clearly have no clue about your job. Protection of networks has to be done manually, at the level of ips, ports, files and folders.

The bit of "improper dealing with passwords" fits the picture of cluelessness. Way to go, German police!

Now let's hear german-guardian on how the German police have indeed acted brilliantly in this affair.
23:55 July 16, 2011 by pepsionice
So let me ask the questions. First, the guy running your IT protection business....same guy that you hired from ten years ago....right? You paid for how many additional training courses over the average year for your IT department (I'm guessing none). New blood brought into the IT department every year or two (I'm guessing not)? The top ten policemen in the organization.....do they even have firewalls or virus-checkers on their laptops at home?

The nice thing? These punks were proud of finding this. The Russian mafia guys who likely got into your system last year? They didn't want to leave any evidence of what they'd found or taken.
04:50 July 17, 2011 by Asgarli
There is indeed a big shortage in qualified professionals in Germany.
11:25 July 17, 2011 by Englishted
@DrStrangelove

So you don't like him either ,we should start whatever is opposite of a fan club.
12:30 July 17, 2011 by harcourt
Englishted: You've just got another member !!
15:13 July 17, 2011 by DrStrangelove
Englishted: Where can I get the T-shirt?

Seriously though, I wish there was a way to educate people like him, rather than get into stupid arguments with them.

There is nothing wrong with being proud of one's national heritage and identity - I think it is a natural impulse for most, or at least many of us. However, we should not allow this impulse to cloud our thinking and perception of reality.

As an expat German who has lived in Canada for the last 10 years, I can recommend immersing yourself into a different culture for a while. It quite naturally gives you a new and better perspective of your own nation's strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of others. Canada has a relaxed and tolerant atmosphere, a very good balance of work and life and a mostly optimistic outlook that you don't find in Germany. On the other hand, Germany has a level of professionalism (notwithstanding the topic of the current story - LOL) that I sometimes miss in my workplace here.

So, german-guardian, if you read this, please consider one friendly piece of advice: Live in another country for a while, and try to take in your surroundings with an open mind.
17:08 July 17, 2011 by harcourt
Dr Strangelove you are absolutely right. The old saying travel broadens the mind is so true. But one should be careful not to see ones home country through rose tinted spectacles. When you've been away for some time, things can change back home and one can get a bit of a shock on return, to live ( not to visit)
Today's headlines
'Hot Boy from Germany' wins Vietnam Idol
Image: Fremantle Media/YouTube

'Hot Boy from Germany' wins Vietnam Idol

A 22-year-old from Hanover has become the latest winner of Vietnam Idol – bagging $27,000 along with his new title. READ  

Man promises to stop coffin naps in public
If you want to rest in place while you're still alive, a car park isn't the place place to choose. Photo: DPA

Man promises to stop coffin naps in public

When a man walking his dog alerted police to the fact that a black coffin was lying in the middle of a public parking place, the cops were surprised to find someone inside. READ  

Court orders boss to pay worker for changing
Photo: Pixabay

Court orders boss to pay worker for changing

A mechanic from western Germany is set to receive €350 in back payments – after claiming he should be paid for the time he spent showering and getting dressed for work. READ  

In Pictures
Wacken festival draws metalheads of the world
A reveler at Wacken Open Air 2015. Photo: DPA

Wacken festival draws metalheads of the world

Armies of black-clad fans gathered for the world's biggest heavy metal festival between Thursday and Saturday, marking 25 years of headbanging fun in the small town of Wacken in northern Germany. READ  

Railway sunbather brings trains to a halt
Photo: DPA

Railway sunbather brings trains to a halt

A plucky sunbather brought train services in North Rhine-Westphalia to an abrupt halt at the weekend - after deciding to catch some rays on the tracks. READ  

Spiegel: Merkel wants fourth term in power
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Spiegel: Merkel wants fourth term in power

According to Germany's most influential political magazine, Spiegel, Angela Merkel has decided to run for a fourth term in power and has already started talks on who will run her campaign. READ  

State leaders call for faster asylum processes
Refugees at a temporary reception centre in Baden Württemberg. Photo: DPA

State leaders call for faster asylum processes

Several state leaders called for more investment in processing asylum applications over the weekend as the backlog continues to put severe strain on current infrastructure. READ  

German sets Florida to Cuba speedboat record
Roger Klueh. Photo: Ernesto Mastrascusa / DPA

German sets Florida to Cuba speedboat record

A German businessman and power boating fanatic on Saturday broke a 57-year-old record for the fastest boat crossing between the United States and Cuba. READ  

Report: German refugee figures 'underestimated'
Migrants on a train on their way to the EU. Photo: Djordje Savic / DPA

Report: German refugee figures 'underestimated'

Germany has hosted more than 300,000 asylum seekers since the start of the year, said the daily Die Welt on Saturday, nearly 50,000 more than first thought, as Berlin prepares for a record influx of refugees in 2015. READ  

Migrant wounded in German police shooting
Photo: DPA

Migrant wounded in German police shooting

A Guinean migrant who caused a brawl in a home for asylum seekers in Germany was shot and seriously wounded by police, local media reported. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Society
In North Germany, money sometimes DOES grow on trees
National
Hero mechanics stop Bavaria shooting spree
International
Denmark says that border controls are coming
National
Did hackers take control of German missile battery?
Politics
Munich gives gay pride green light
Business & Money
Berlin rent controls hit prices hard
National
Fighting to breastfeed in public without shame
Society
Ice cream for dogs 'gobbled up in one gulp'
Education
Are hotpants a feminist issue?
Rhineland
Lion cub reunited with mother
National
How the heatwave is cracking Germany's Autobahns
International
Why the French are more sympathetic to Greece than the Germans
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,116
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd