16 million email addresses and passwords in Germany exposed by malware attack

Hot on the heels of the massive credit card cyber attacks that affected U.S. retailers such as Target, Neiman Marcus and others in December, the German government has announced it found criminals used malware to get the email addresses and passwords of as many as 16 million of its citizens.

The German-based The Local reports that the the country's Federal Office for Online Security discovered the issue when it checked into the activities of a number of criminal botnets. The government did not reveal the specifics of its discovery, nor is there any word on which group or groups are responsible for the stolen email info.

The government has set up a website so that citizens can type in their email address to see if it is part of this cyber theft. However, the huge amount of traffic generated by concerned German residents has resulted in the site becoming inaccessible for much of today.

For victims of the attack, the German government sent advisories recommending citizens change their email addresses and passwords along with performing malware sweeps on their PC.

Source: The Local | Email image via Shutterstock

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