Virgilio and Libero, massive email theft alert

Virgilio and Libero hacked, 1,4k mail were lost in the theft

Virgilio and Libero are notoriously two of the most famous Italian websites.

Virgilio was one of the first search engines to rule the scene before Google became popular. Years later, it’s still the preferred option of many users.

Libero instead was the first Italian portal, offering news, entertainment and several helpful columns. It has a long standing community and up until a few years ago it allowed users to create their very own Web pages.

Both Virgilio and Libero are part of IOL (Italia on Line) and offer, among various things, also a free email service.

But their emails were recently subjected to an outrageous data theft which involved over a million users last April.

Virgilio and Libero hacked (to the users horror)

The attack occurred on April 24th, much to the horror of Virgilio and Libero’s users.

The owners of virgilio.it or libero.it email adresses woke up to the worst surprise an Internet user can ask for.

Virgilio and Libero under attack
Nasty turn of events for users who had to change their ID and passwords

Both sites had alerts requiring a password change as several emails had been hacked and their contents stolen. The incredibly massive theft allegedly involved over 1,4k web mails.

The mere idea that strangers may have free access to our personal data is nothing short of terrifying. Emails are used more and more often in lieu of traditional snail mail, and a great many mails we receive contain strictly personal things, such as our credit card’s PIN or the IDs for home banking.

Libero and Virgilio users therefore rushed to change the login data. And were able to retrieve the contents of their mailboxes – still with the lingering fear that personal messages and data may have been stolen.

How did this massive email theft occur?

But what set off Virgilio and Libero’s alarms that badly?

This would all come to the spotlight when the culprit was found – and arrested.

An informatic attack involved over 1,4k mails
The informatic attack could bypass all security measures

In the Milan hinterland a young hacker had approached the IOL offices with bare-bones equipment that was, however, noticeable enough.

The 24-years old man from Milan was using his laptop as well as a huge antenna.

Using a password that he came into owning and his hacking abilities, the man could breach in the IOL internal network. Where he started pilfering users data and personal informations.

During the attack the man was allegedly sitting in a cafe and the antenna eventually got the attention of other customers – and personnel. So when police started researching the informatic attack, it wasn’t long before they could track him down.

The man was already known to justice as cops had dealt with him before.

Who is the hacker who attacked Libero and Virgilio?

As can be expected, the man’s identity was not disclosed. Only his age – 24 years old – is known.

The young man is no stranger to informatic crimes. Formerly the cops had been able to track him down, but he had stayed clear of arrest.

Virgilio and Libero's mysterious hacker
The 24 years old hacker who attacked Virgilio and Libero was known to the authorities

However there are still many open questions regarding the data theft on Virgilio and Libero. According to the first investigations, the young hacker wouldn’t have been alone.

This time around he had been set up on hire. The theft that was only partially sent out to an unknown email had been requested on Telegram and paid in Bitcoins.

To date, nothing is known on who is the real sender and why this person would invest resources and times in a theft this clamorous.

This post is also available in: itItaliano

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