About 900,000 people in Germany, all customers of Deutsche Telekom (ETR:DTE), were affected as hackers broke in and caused widespread network outage. Government security experts revealed this on Monday, saying that “the outage obviously looks like the work of hackers”. The company has confirmed this, saying it was a major strike.
Deutsche Telekom is a German telecommunications giant that is based out of the city of Bonn. The company has a total asset of 143.9 billion Euros, and runs subsidiaries like T-Systems, T-Mobile US, Inc., and Hrvatski Telekom, among others. Deutsche Telekom has 20 million customers in the country.
The problem was first reported on Sunday afternoon when Deutsche Telekom customers were unable to connect to the network. Reports began to come in from across the country thick and fast and soon became a major crisis.
The outages were impacting many routers which dial into the network for internet, television access and phone. Broadband services were cut off.
Deutsche Telekom Issues Software Update
At one stage, as many as 900,000 customers of the company were affected. However, Deutsche Telekom took quick action and installed security measures. As a result, the number of affected people went down to about 400,000. The company issued a software update, and asked their customers to unplug their routers for 30 seconds.
A company statement read, “There is no error pattern: some customers are experiencing temporary problems or very marked fluctuations in quality, but there are also customers for whom the service is not working at all”.
However, according to reports coming from Germany, many of their customers are still unable to connect even after unplugging their routers, as directed. Those with the affected routers are still without TV reception, phone connections and internet. The company, though, has assured them that the problem is being sorted out in quick time.
Routers of Deutsche Telekom Could Be Vulnerable
The head of Deutsche Telekom’s IT security says the attack seems to be tied with an attempt to infect routers of customers that has a new version of the Mirai software. Ars Technica is reporting that there could be a vital flaw in these routers, which presently is being used by millions of Deutsche Telekom’s customers. They are thus labeling these routers as “vulnerable”, and not ruling out a second attack in the future.
Zyxel Communications of Taiwan has made these routers.
Deutsche Telekom (ETR:DTE) has already ordered a thorough investigation of the issue.