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04/28/2022

Hacker attack on the idw system

Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Please note our user info sent today and change your idw password as soon as possible. Thank you!

The idw system is very thoroughly secured and exposed to numerous hacker attacks every day, all of which we have been able to defend so far. Unfortunately, one attack has now been successful.

Last week, we noticed the first signs of this attack in the idw system. After technically complex investigations, the suspicion has now been confirmed:
An unknown attacker used a tool to gain access to our system via form fields and copied our database to an unknown server.


Since the person put a lot of effort into overcoming all access barriers and firewalls and also entered data manually for this purpose, we assume that this was a targeted attack on idw. We have reported the incident to the relevant authorities and filed a criminal complaint.


Immediately after the attack was discovered, the idw team took extensive measures to secure the idw system against further attacks:

  • The idw system was moved to a new server and the affected system was shut down.
  • All processes in the idw system were and are checked intensively.
  • All passwords and access links of the idw team were checked and changed.
  •   
  • From now on, all http requests from browsers to the system will be filtered and evaluated by idw technology even more elaborately than before using additional tools.


During intensive checks, we could not detect any further manipulations in the idw system and have not received any external indications that we associate with the attack. The idw system is still completely functional.


What does the attack mean for your data stored at idw and what measures are required?

As a matter of principle, idw works economically and carefully with data. We do not collect particularly sensitive information - such as your date of birth or your address. It is not stored in the system and therefore cannot be retrieved.


However, the copied record could contain personal information as:

  • First and last name
  • User names
  • E-mail addresses
  • Telephone numbers

For further details please note our user info sent today


All passwords are elaborately encrypted in our database, decoding is unlikely. For security reasons, however, we ask you to change your password as soon as possible.


If you access your personal idw menu with your user ID and password you will find the menu item "Edit personal data". Here you can change your password, among other things. If you have forgotten your password or your user ID, please click on this link to the "Forgotten password" function of the system:
https://idw-online.de/en/forgottenpassword


The board of directors and the team regret this incident very much and apologize for the inconvenience caused and the effort of changing the password.

Feel free to contact us by phone at +49 921 34 899 89 70 or via e-mail service@idw-online.de if you have any questions or need clarification.

We will send another version of this mail to all users registered at idw; we apologize if you receive several mails about the same issue as a result.


Best regards

idw team


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