The European Central Bank’s (ECB) web site has been breached by cybercriminals and the e-mails and contact details of 20,000 people were stolen, according to the IBTimes.
The ECB says its internal system is physically separate from its contacts database and no other sensitive data was lost.
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“The theft came to light after an anonymous email was sent to the ECB seeking financial compensation for the data,” the ECB said in an announcement.
The breached database was used for ECB conferences and visits, as it contained events registrations. Most of the stored data was encrypted, except email addresses, phone numbers and some street addresses that were stored in plain-text.
Also the database contained “data on downloads from the ECB website in encrypted form.”
“The ECB is contacting people whose email addresses or other data might have been compromised and all passwords have been changed on the system as a precaution.”
ECB data security experts patched the web site vulnerability because the bank “takes data security extremely seriously.”
German police are investigating, as the Frankfurt-based ECB falls under its jurisdiction.