GERMANY’S SECURITY AGENCY has said that around 16 million online accounts have been compromised by hackers.
The Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) said criminals had infected computers with malware allowing them to gather account information.
The breach was discovered when researchers ran an analysis of botnets – networks of compromised computers that can be used by criminals to carry out attacks.
The BSI is recommending that all users who could be affected by the hack change all passwords they use to log on to social media sites, online stores, email accounts and other online services. It also recommends that users scan their computers for malware.
The Guardian reports that about half of the accounts affected have .de endings, showing that they are based in Germany.
The BSI set up a website allowing users to check whether their accounts are affected, but the site crashed shortly after it was launched due to overwhelming demand. The organisation hasn’t revealed what progress it’s made in tracking down those responsible for the hack.