Massive police data breach in East Flanders prompts investigation

Massive police data breach in East Flanders prompts investigation
Credit: Piqsels.

A cyber attack that saw hackers break into the website of the East Flanders police academy and steal police data in the spring of this year has prompted the launch of an investigation.

The hackers broke into the police academy’s website, run by an external company, and stole an estimate of more than 100 home addresses, mobile phone numbers and bank account details belonging to police officers.

Subsequently, the hackers sent out phishing texts to around 50 police officers, in which they posed as either ING or sometimes AXA bank and asked the victims for their bank codes.

“The text said that the bank wanted to do a security check,” a police officer told Nieuwsblad, adding that “they wanted to verify my bank account number and asked for my secret pin. I didn’t give it to them because it all seemed very strange to me.”

Overall, the details of about “50 magistrates, 300 police officers and 150 apprentices” have been affected, Paul Schelleman, who is responsible for data protection in the province of East Flanders, explained.

In response, some additional safety measures have been installed meaning that the site is currently better protected, Schelleman added.

The local police said that they are aware of the problem and are hoping to get a better explanation soon, De Standaard writes.

Evie McCullough
The Brussels Times

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