German Municipality of Schlissheim informs hundreds of citizens about dark web data
Hundreds of people in Schriesheim, a small town in Heidelberg, Germany, have been informed that their data has been published on the dark web after hackers attacked IT servers in the Rhein-Neckar district of Schriesheim.
"We would like to start this week, depending on the sensitivity of the data, the affected people will be notified by phone or letter." A spokeswoman for the city told Deutsche Presse-Agentur. "The data can still be viewed on the dark web, and we have no grip there." The spokeswoman said.
About a month ago, unidentified people hacked into the city's IT systems, and the cybercriminals used malware ("ransomware") to encrypt the city's servers. They did not demand a ransom, but threatened to release the data on the dark web.
After consulting with the Mannheim CID and the Cyber Security Bureau of Baden-Württemberg (CSBW), the city did not make contact with the attackers. Police and IT experts had to temporarily shut down and reinstall the city's servers to improve security standards.
After the deadline passed, its internal documents were posted on the Dark Web. However, it also contained lists of individuals and documents, such as information on some 15,000 residents of the Rhine-Neckar district.
This is mainly information from the municipal administration and is only used internally, government office director Dominik Morast said Monday. According to the first analysis, ID and passport data, as well as data from the registry, were not affected. However, he admitted that documents with names could be seen in the dark web.
The administrative operations of the municipality are still restricted and most of the departments such as the registry and the citizenship bureau are now accessible via e-mail, but not all staff yet," the spokeswoman said. "We are working at full capacity to ensure that everyone can get their personal emails again."
Police and the National Data Protection Commissioner are consulting on how to proceed. He estimates it will take a few weeks until the town hall authorities are fully operational again. Information on the cost is not yet available.
The data disclosed by the criminals allegedly created uncertainty among the population. However, most people understand the resulting disruption of administrative operations.
From：On DarkNet – Dark Web News and Analysis
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