Germany’s telecommunications watchdog has ordered parents to destroy or disable a “smart doll” because the toy can be used to illegally spy on children. The My Friend Cayla doll allows children to access the internet via speech recognition software, and to control the toy via an app.
But Germany’s Federal Network Agency announced that it classified Cayla as an “illegal espionage apparatus”. As a result, retailers and owners could face fines if they continue to stock it or fail to permanently disable the doll’s wireless connection. Under German law it is illegal to manufacture, sell or possess surveillance devices disguised as another object.Read more
Technical trade secrets were stolen from the steel production and manufacturing plant design divisions of ThyssenKrupp AG in cyber attacks earlier this year, the German company said.
ThyssenKrupp, one of the world's largest steel makers, said it had been targeted by attackers located in southeast Asia engaged in what it said were "organized, highly professional hacker activities". In breaches discovered by the company's internal security team in April and traced back to February, hackers stole project data from ThyssenKrupp's plant engineering division and from other areas yet to be determined.Read more
The German data protection agency has ordered Facebook to stop collecting user data from its WhatsApp messenger app and delete any data it has already received.
The social network announced in August that it would begin sharing data from its 1 billion-plus user base, including phone numbers, from WhatsApp users with Facebook for the purpose of targeted ads. It gave users the option of opting out of the data being used for advertising purposes, but did not allow them to opt out of the data sharing between WhatsApp and Facebook.Read more
Avoiding Credit Card Fraud is simply easy as long as you use cash. But, what if you even get hacked while withdrawing cash from an ATM? If you are living in Germany or traveling there, then think twice before using your payment cards in the ATMs.
A Security researcher has managed to hack ATM and self-service terminal from Sparkasse Bank that allowed him to reveal the sensitive details from the payment card inserted into the machine. CEO of Germany-based security firm Vulnerability Lab, discovered a vulnerability while using a Sparkasse terminal that suddenly ejected his card, and changed status to "temporarily not available."Read more
German Chancellor Angela Merkel may not be the only high-ranking leader from that country to be spied on by the National Security Agency.
German authorities are investigating whether the head of the German Federal Chancellery unit had his laptop infected with Regin, a highly sophisticated suite of malware programs that has been linked to the NSA and its British counterpart, the Government Communications Headquarters. Regin is among the most advanced pieces of malware ever discovered, with dozens of modules that can be used to customize attacks on targets in the telecommunications, hospitality, energy, airline, and research industries.Read more
A leaked NSA intercept shows that German FM Steinmeier was relieved to have “not received any definitive response” from the US on its rendition program at the time of the scandal, which exempted him from the need to act on the matter.
The WikiLeaks publication intercept of the German FM’s communications, which was undertaken after his official visit to the US in November, 2005. After the first reports on "rendition flights" emerged in the media, European governments denied any knowledge of the CIA program, but continued providing airspace and airport facilities to the US security agency which facilitated it.Read more
The German secret service BND has pulled the plug on the internet surveillance program for the US National Security Agency amid the growing scandal over its extent of cooperation in spying on its EU partners.
The German Federal Intelligence Service stopped sharing internet surveillance data with the NSA on Monday. Berlin has demanded that the US spy agency first file an official request explaining the need for the internet-based data from Germany’s Bad Aibling listening post in Bavaria, where 120 BND employees and some NSA technicians work. The NSA has reportedly refused to comply with the security request due to short notice.Read more
Germany's intelligence service has been helping the NSA spy on European politicians and companies for years. The NSA has been sending lists of "selectors" to the BND, which then provides related information that it holds in its surveillance databases.
The NSA sent selector lists several times a day, and altogether 800,000 selectors have been requested. Investigators found that the BND had provided information on around 2,000 selectors that were clearly against European and German interests. Not only were European businesses such as the giant aerospace and defense company EADS targeted, so were European politicians.Read more
One hacker says he has developed a way to copy fingerprints using a common digital camera. A member of Europe's oldest hacker collective demonstration included creating, he claims, a digital copy of a fingerprint of Germany's federal minister of defense, Ursula von der Leyen, using commercially available software.
He said he had a photographer snap high-resolution photos of von der Leyen's fingers while she was at a presentation – standing nine feet away from the official. Krissler said he wasn't able to verify von der Leyen's fingerprint was accurate, but he was still confident it was a workable copy.Read more
DHL has announced the maiden voyage of their "Parcelcopter" will be made in Germany. The unmanned drone service will be used to transfer drugs and other urgent medical supplies to a pharmacy on a remote island off the North coast. This is the first time an autonomous aircraft has been authorised to deliver goods in Europe.
The drone has been cleared by the German transport ministry and air traffic control to use a restricted airspace now reserved purely for the Parcelcopter's delivery missions, where the flight zone is mostly open water. If this is successful, DHL could well be on their way to challenging Amazon's Prime Air project.Read more