ORF hack attack worse than feared

Austrian Independent, July 26, 2011

Hackers nicked significantly more data from a subsidiary of Austrian broadcaster ORF than officials initially admitted. A spokesman for GIS, the ORF’s radio and TV fee agency, announced today (Tues) 214,000 customer data sets were stolen in the attack last week. He added that 96,000 of the data featured clients’ bank account information. GIS officials announced last Friday the attack by Anonymous Austria had little impact “because (customer) data are located on several servers.” Now a spokesman for the company admitted that the dimension of the incident had been underestimated. “It wasn’t clear to us at first what was actually going on,” he told the press today. The GIS spokesman explained the hackers took advantage of a loophole in the security system. He said GIS had already started getting in touch with the affected customers. “We appealed to these people to carefully check their account balances and activity,” he added. GIS manages data of ORF’s 3.5 million private and business clients. Households with at least one television must fork out around 20 Euros a month to the national broadcaster. A certain amount of the fee goes straight to the nine provincial governments. The official argumentation is that these transactions should help them in subsidising local cultural events. Opposition politicians have criticised the structure of the ORF’s system of fees and its methods for years. The Freedom Party (FPÖ) – which recently also became a victim of Anonymous Austria – launched an online petition against ORF’s “enforced” fees. http://austrianindependent.com/news/Business/2011-07-26/8537/ORF_hack_attack_worse_than_feared

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