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Germany's Federal Office for Security (BSI) has recently reported that approximately 16 million email users have had their account details compromised by hackers, according to an article published on the IT Pro website. The article indicated that the attacked computers were infected with software that allowed cyber-criminals to collect "_email addresses and passwords_" from their individual owners.
The report confirmed that the BSI has launched "a website for people to check if their accounts have been compromised." Unfortunately, the website has experienced a number of crashes due to the "weight of demand by worried users_, "according to the article. The BSI released a statement – translated from German – which was quoted in the article to say, "_In the analysis of botnets by research institutions and law enforcement agencies around 16 million were compromised user accounts. The email addresses have been handed over to the BSI so affected users can be informed and take necessary protective measures."
An additional warning from the BSI, as stated in the article, announces that users touched by this attack "_could be at risk of identity theft_" and advised that victims should immediately "_check PCs for malware and change passwords for email accounts, social networking sites, and online stores_. " The German agency has not yet commented on any details about the botnet – when it was analyzed, who is responsible, or the exact time the attack to place, according to the article.
Written by Bryon Turcotte / January 23, 2014