In a cyberattack, hackers tried to break into ECB chief Christine Lagarde’s WhatsApp account using former chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone number. Both have been victims of repeated attempts to steal the accounts of politicians and celebrities.
Former Chancellor Angela Merkel and President of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde became victims of a cyber attack. Hackers apparently tried to break into Lagarde’s WhatsApp account using Merkel’s mobile phone number.
Merkel and Lagarde reveal WhatsApp cyberattack
Again Business Insider attackers texted Christine Lagarde with Angela Merkel’s real cell phone number. In it, they asked the ECB president to continue the conversation on WhatsApp. To justify this, the hackers pointed to the end-to-end encryption of the messenger service.
Conversation is more secure through WhatsApp. Just to be sure, Lagarde then called the ex-chancellor to make sure she really wanted to continue the conversation on WhatsApp. Politicians revealed the cyber attack.
Hackers want code for Lagarde’s WhatsApp account
It is not yet clear where the hackers obtained Merkel’s cell phone number. The police are now investigating the case. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution and the BSI also take care of the cyber attack.
Authorities believe the attackers’ goal was to use Angela Merkel’s identity to obtain a verification code from Lagarde’s WhatsApp account. If they succeeded, they could take over the ECB president’s account.
Hackers would then be able to impersonate the ECB president and gain the trust of other prominent people on Lagarde’s contact list.
The cyber attack on Merkel and Lagarde is not an isolated case
Already in last week The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) have warned German politicians that fraudsters will try to hack their messenger accounts. State Secretary Jörg Kukies, for example, recently became a victim of a cyber attack.
Attacks of this type are also known as “social engineering”. Hackers first spy on their victims. They then contact the affected individuals and want to get them to take certain actions – such as revealing passwords.