21 million German bank accounts - yours for only €12m
It's a steal
Identity thieves who claim they stole details of 21 million German bank accounts are offering to sell the data on the black market for €12 million (US$15.3 million), a German magazine reported over the weekend.
To prove they weren't bluffing, the crooks produced the compact disc containing the names, addresses, phone numbers, birthdays account numbers, and bank routing numbers of 1.2 million accounts. Two investigative reporters for WirtschaftsWoche say they obtained the CD during a face-to-face meeting at a hotel in Hamburg with two individuals involved with the theft. The journalists were posing as interested buyers working for a gambling operation.
"We took away with us the first delivery, a CD with 1.2 million accounts, that we couldn't imagine," said one of the editors overseeing the investigation. "In the worst case, three out of four German households would have to be afraid that some money could be taken from their checking account without their authorisation, and perhaps even without their realising it," the magazine stated.
The information was most likely collected from call center employees, the magazine said.
It's Germany's second mega heist of personal information in as many months. In October, T-Mobile admitted losing records belonging to 17 million customers that included their names, addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers, and email addresses.
Peter Schaar, a government official in charge of protecting personal data, said the WirtschaftsWoche report should serve as a wake up call.
Can this information actually be used?
I have used the German banking system for some time and have found it light-years ahead for the North American systems. From this article though I wonder if this information has any real use. In order to transfer money you need either a chip and PIN, or a TAN number (one-time password for on-line banking). I have the names, addresses and BLZ (Bank routing number) of several of my friends so that we can transfer money to one another. However, I'd never be able to take money from their account without also possessing either their bank cards, or their on-line passwords and TAN lists.
Going for the goat
mr. K - Pleased you didn't use an appropriate icon, I think that would be illegal in the UK now.
"It is essential that personal data cannot be transmitted with the individual's explicit agreement," he told ZDF television
cannot ... with ... agreement ????
Well if it's that sort of mentality at the top no wonder we're all down the swanny.
Paris is confused.