Wednesday, 22.08.12 , written by editor Data theft is not a trivial offense. As the insurer Allianz found this week, complete security seems almost an illusion. A former investigator released various

Privatdetektiv verursacht schweres Datenleck bei der Allianz

In the form of an anonymous letter, a flood of data reached the editors of Spiegel-Online earlier this week. The content was explosive, internal investigation files from Europe’s largest insurer – the Alliance. These confidential files included: police and prosecutorial investigation files, testimonies, bank accounts about accounts and their authorized persons. The documents are predominantly related to insurance claims of the Allianz Group, as the company confirmed to Spiegel-Online. All of these data, Allianz assures to the online newspaper, belong to a single private investigator. This “criminal single action” appears to be a personal act of revenge and resulted from the fact that the detective and the company had parted company in the beginning of 2012 – more details are not known so far. In addition to the embarrassment of the apparently almost problem-free legal accessibility of such data, in this case it is above all the amount of collected information that is surprising.

Brisk data content

A thorough investigation of insurance claims is in the interest of the customers. Contributions must not rise inexorably due to intentional fraud. Insurance companies have to investigate acute suspected cases. In such investigations, in the case of “firm fraud”, insurance companies often consult detectives for documentary checks. According to a study carried out by GfK Finanzmarktforschung on behalf of the German Insurance Association (GDV), four percent of the households interviewed for the study openly admitted having committed insurance fraud in the past five years. Another seven percent say they have already experienced fraud in their immediate environment. The potential damage to the honest customer therefore certainly causes a certain amount of effort in determining such property damage. However, the relevant data security in connection with such investigations is critical. The case of the Alliance shows that the state of complete security is like a fight against windmills.

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One among many

The insurer is not the only large corporation that has suffered from such publications in the recent past. But the method is not always the same. For example, in 2011, the Internet service Twitter lost passwords and usernames of approximately 35,000 Twitter accounts by publishing hackers online. Also, the food discounter REWE was exposed to some unwanted attention, as last year Unknown published a text document with over 52,000 records on the Web. The content: the e-mail address and associated passwords of consumers. Also has recently become the target of a hacker attack. At the beginning of last year, the attackers copied the data of about 1.2 million raffle participants. In the case of the Alliance, however, shows that such critical data loss does not necessarily come from “outside”. This detective probably did not return the documents. This announced meanwhile opposite mirror on-line further disclosures.

  • written by Christoph Sebastian Nicolae
  • editorial staff
  • editorial staff

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