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Federal passwords and classified information stolen in 2023 cyberattack

Someone with long hair and glasses, seen from behind, looks at the homepage of the website Xplain
More than 9,000 ‘data objects’ were stolen in the attack in May 2023, more than half of which contained sensitive information. KEYSTONE/© KEYSTONE / LAURENT GILLIERON

Personal data, technical and classified information, and passwords were stolen from the federal administration and published on the darknet following a cyberattack on the company Xplain last year.

More than 9,000 ‘data objects’ were stolen in May 2023, more than half of which contained sensitive information, according to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – and four ‘objects’ contained readable passwords.

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The administrative division of the the justice ministry accounted for 95% of the stolen federal data, while the defence ministry accounted for a further three percentage points. Other departments were “only marginally affected in terms of volume”, the NCSC said in a report on Thursday. It did not explain how the data was accessed, this will be clarified as part of the ongoing investigation ordered by the government in August, the NCSC added.

Adapted from German by DeepL/kp/amva

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