According to the German government’s statement that they issued earlier today, about 16 million online accounts have been hacked. The German security researchers were examining a botnet network, when they stumbled upon a huge list of email accounts that have been hacked. The experts have said that the purpose of this botnet related hack is identity theft. Because many people use these email addresses for other accounts (like facebook, twitter, PayPal etc.), so those accounts may also be compromised. The associated e- mail addresses have been handed over to the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) . The BSI gives you the possibility to check whether you are affected by this identity theft. Here is how you can check whether you are affected:
- Visit the BSI safety test website at https://www.sicherheitstest.bsi.de/#email. The website is in the German language, but you can access it through http://translate.google.com to have it translated into your local language.
- On this webpage, you have to place a checkmark in the checkbox and type your email address that you want to test for identity theft. Then you can click on the überprüfung starten (Start Check) button to start the test.
- You will be taken to another webpage where a security code will be shown to you. Note down this security code, or print the webpage.
- If you receive an email with that security code as the subject of the message, then your account has been hacked. If you do not receive any email from BSI, then you can relax – you are not affected by the hack.
If you do receive an email from BSI with the security code in the subject, then it clearly indicates that you are infected with some sort of botnet malware. You should use various security software like TDSSKiller, Malwarebytes Anti-malware, Superantispyware etc. to scan your system for malware. In addition, install a good antivirus software like avast!, update it and let it scan all of your system. Once you have scanned you system thoroughly, its time to change all your online account passwords. You should use stronger passwords for all your new accounts.