Computer hacker tries to extort money from ECB


Cyber-criminals have attempted to extort cash from the European Central Bank (ECB) after hacking into  its computers to steal  personal details, officials admitted  yesterday.

The ECB received an anonymous email containing details of people who had registered for conferences and visits on Monday. The Frankfurt-based body insists no internal systems or market sensitive data were compromised, but reviewed its IT security after the incident and reported it to German police. No money was paid.

The security breach comes at a sensitive time for the ECB as it is engaged in a review of the eurozone’s top lenders, collecting streams of data to gauge whether banks have valued loans and other assets correctly before it starts supervising them.

The ECB – which refused to say how much it spends on cyber-security – is the latest central bank to face attacks after a British hacker was arrested last year over allegations he penetrated the US Federal Reserve and American military computers.