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15 December 2008, 11:28

German credit card security breached

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A box addressed to the editors at the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper contained microfilm with credit card details of tens of thousands of credit card users. The microfilm, sent anonymously to the newspaper, contained details of customers of Landesbank Berlin, including full names, addresses, credit card numbers and payment details. Early reports of there being PIN numbers included in the data were retracted by the newspaper, who later stated that this was actually a reference to some opened PIN number letters also in the box.

Reports in the German press say the data seems to be current, dating to August this year, and covering users of other cards such as Amazon Visa, White Label, ADAC (a German motoring organisation) Visa and Mastercards and the XBox Classic credit card.

Landesbank contract a financial services provider, Atos Worldline, to manage these credit cards, which was evidenced by another item in the box, a bill for €71,400 from Atos to Landesbank. Alexander Dix, a Berlin state data security representative, called the data loss "a scandal of considerable scale".

Landesbank has since stated in a press release that there were no passwords in the data that would have allowed unauthorised access to customer accounts, but reminded customers to remain vigilant.


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