German secret service taps phones, bills buggees

Wasn't Inspector Clouseau supposed to be French?


A software error is being blamed for an incident in which mobile phone users discovered they were being bugged by German secret squirrels.

According to reports last week, some customers of mobile phone operator O2 noticed an unusual phone number on their bills they didn't recognise and a call charge associated with the number.

When they tried to call the number they heard a recorded message telling them they couldn't use the number.

After further investigation, though, it was revealed that the number belonged to the German secret service. The number was showing up on people's bills because they were being bugged - and paying for it. Understandably, German police and the secret service were not too chuffed with this.

A spokesman for mmO2 blamed the incident on a "software error" and said it had now been fixed. Only a "very small number of individual users" were affected, he said. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Biden considers removal of Trump-era China tariffs to ease inflation
    But US administration split on loss of leverage, according to reports

    US president Joe Biden is debating whether to end or cut Trump-era tariffs imposed on Chinese imports into the United States, according to reports.

    Introduced in 2018 during the Trump administration, tariffs on more than $300 billion in imports from China — including products and components vital in consumer and business technologies — were inherited by the Biden administration.

    According to Bloomberg, president Biden and his cabinet have discussed the inflationary impact of these levies with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. The cabinet was looking at all of the possible ways to curb inflation and to provide some relief on cost of living for Americans, the report said.

    Continue reading
  • Semiconductor market to be hit by fresh wave of rising component costs
    Chemicals supplier warns it expects to raise prices, may cut some product lines

    More red flags about the semiconductor market are being raised with the news that a key supplier to chipmakers such as TSMC is planning to hike prices, which will likely have a knock-on effect on chip prices.

    Japan-based chemicals company Showa Denko has warned it expects to raise prices and may have to cut back some of its unprofitable product lines. The company is a major supplier of chemicals and gases that are used in the semiconductor manufacturing industry for the creation of silicon wafers and in the etching process to create chips.

    In an interview with Bloomberg, Showa Denko chief financial officer Hideki Somemiya said the company had already raised prices at least a dozen times this year, citing issues such as COVID-19 lockdowns, increasing energy costs and other factors. However, he confirmed "the current market moves require us to ask twice the amount we had previously calculated."

    Continue reading
  • Germany unveils plan to tackle cyberattacks on satellites
    Vendors get checklist on what to do when crooks inevitably turn up in space

    The German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) has put out an IT baseline protection profile for space infrastructure amid concerns that attackers could turn their gaze skywards.

    The document, published last week, is the result of a year of work by Airbus Defence and Space, the German Space Agency at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and BSI, among others. It is focused on defining minimum requirements for cyber security for satellites and, a cynic might say, is a little late to the party considering how rapidly companies such as SpaceX are slinging spacecraft into orbit.

    The guide categorizes the protection requirements of various satellite missions from "Normal" to "Very High" with the goal of covering as many missions as possible. It is also intended to cover information security from manufacture through to operation of satellites.

    Continue reading
  • Gtk 5 might drop X.11 support, says GNOME dev
    Linux's Wayland-only future takes a tentative step closer

    One of the GNOME developers has suggested that the next major release of Gtk could drop support for the X window system.

    Emmanuele Bassi opened a discussion last week on the GNOME project's Gitlab instance that asked whether the developers could drop X.11 support in the next release of Gtk.

    At this point, it is only a suggestion, but if it gets traction, this could significantly accelerate the move to the Wayland display server and the end of X.11.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022