Cop's attempt at parental control led to hacked German police system

By Lee Kaelin on January 11, 2012, 12:30 PM

Last July, a computer server used by German authorities for GPS surveillance was compromised by hackers and subsequently shut down. Although details were limited at the time, it is now being reported that the events leading to the break-in could have well been triggered by an officer’s attempt to monitor his daughter’s Internet activities.

It is believed the father, who is a senior officer with the German Federal Police based in Frankfurt, installed a form of spyware, possibly a Trojan on his daughter's computer in order to ascertain her online activities, according to reports from German weekly magazine, Der Spiegel.

A friend of the girl with ties to the hacker scene in Germany is said to have stumbled upon it when using her computer. In response to the discovery, her friend then hacked or gained access into the police officer’s computer.

While that shouldn’t have been an issue itself, the father was apparently diverting confidential work emails to his personal computer, storing them all locally. The hackers were able to gain access to those emails, which contained information key to obtaining unauthorized access to the PATRAS GPS surveillance system used by the police and customs authorities.

The breach came to light in July last year when the hacker group n0-n4m3 Cr3w (No Name Crew) announced they had access to the compromised server, which resulted in the German authorities shutting down the entire service to investigate the matter.

The hacker group then published documents and other information including usernames, passwords, phone numbers, and license plates of vehicles as well as geographic locations of ongoing criminal investigations.

The Federal investigation into the incident resulted in the German Federal Police arresting two individuals suspected of being involved in the breach. One of them is believed to be the leader of the hacker group.

User Comments: 11

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Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

Wait a second. This is a 6 MONTH old story??

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

A lot of dumb people involved in this one - on both sides of the fence.

Guest said:

It was new here in EU 6 months ago. But now it is new in US.

RH00D RH00D said:

Wagan8r said:

Wait a second. This is a 6 MONTH old story??

First paragraph, second sentence: "it is now being reported".

Reading comprehension, it helps.

Anyway I know parents are concerned about their kids on the internet, even more so for female kids. But I personally feel that secretly monitoring your kid is going too far. Instead just block websites or services, etc. at the router level. Perhaps just be upfront with them and explain your rules for them and that they actually are to protect them and explain why/how the internet is dangerous, etc. They'll respect you a lot more that way because just secretly monitoring them makes you come off as an invasive ***hole. No kid is going to be perfect and they *will* break rules every once in a while and honestly, kids *should* break the rules to certain degree. It's all just part of learning to grow up, no one is perfect, especially not kids.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

+1 RH00D

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

RH00D said:

Wagan8r said:

Wait a second. This is a 6 MONTH old story??

First paragraph, second sentence: "it is now being reported".

Reading comprehension, it helps.

Yes, and I read that before I posted. However, my point wasn't around when it was reported, but rather how long it took for this to come out. Usually, it only takes a few days/weeks.

Gars Gars said:

'hackers hacked'

the father just was pray for this

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

veLa veLa said:

The police suck at hacking.

HiDDeNMisT HiDDeNMisT said:

stupid cops lol

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