A Most Amazing (and funny) Privacy Scandal
One of the largest “identity thefts” in German history turned out to be a bizarre christmas story: Account data of 130,000 customers of the Landesbank Berlin (LBB) was delivered to the Frankfurter Rundschau (a German newspaper) on December 10th – allegedly even including PINs.
How did this happen? It was all about Stollen, a traditional German christmas fruitcake.
The courier service charged with delivering this highly sensitive material to the Landesbank Berlin had another delivery to make: A parcel containing German Stollen, addressed to the Frankfurter Rundschau. The two drivers were hungry, so they ate the Stollen. Left with an empty parcel, they somehow came up with the brilliant plan to take one of the six packages meant for the Landesbank and deliver it to the newspaper instead, to cover up the fruitcake theft.
Still, it leaves a bitter taste. Why is an ordinary courier service responsible to move such sensitive material? Why is this information even stored and transported on unsecure microfiche in the first place? Imagine what happened if the drivers had opened one of the Landesbank packages instead? With that information at hand, they could have bought (and eaten) a lot more than just one Stollen…