ECB hacked with compromised email addresses and contact data

24 Jul 2014

The European Central Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany

The European Central Bank (ECB) has confirmed its public website has been hacked, resulting in a breach of data that includes email addresses and other contact information.

The ECB said the more important financial details of individuals and companies contained within the bank have not been affected by this hack.

“No internal systems or market-sensitive data were compromised,” said the statement from the ECB.

“The database serves parts of the ECB website that gather registrations for events, such as ECB conferences and visits. It is physically separate from any internal ECB systems.”

The hacking only became apparent to the European Union’s banking regulator after the receipt of an anonymous email that sought financial compensation for the contact data. It is believed the ECB did not give into the demands.

While most of the data had been encrypted, the ECB said, parts of the database included email addresses, some street addresses and phone numbers that were not encrypted.

National and multinational banks are coming under increasing attack from individuals and organisations looking to profit from poorly protected databases, one of which included Russia’s central bank, which had been shut down briefly by a DDoS attack.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic